As I look at you sleeping in my lap, the smile tips the corners of my mouth,at the same time as the tears sting the corners of my eyes.
I watched you fight a battle I have not seen in a while as you faded not so gently off to sleep tonight. While you have needed to know I was nearby lately, it has been a while since I have seen the pure panic in your eyes as you fight with all your being to not sleep.
Wiggle the legs.....fiddle with the fingers......shift position...... now shift again.....whatever it takes.... don’t go to sleep, just keep checking.
At last you curled on to me and asked “am I safe?” And the past came forward once again and the whispered mantra of many nights slipped from my lips. “You are safe, mommy is here. You are safe, I will not leave you.” Slowly, softly until the panic subsides, your head nods in agreement and eventually your body accepts and drifts off to sleep.
And so the smile plays with the corners of my mouth as I look at you my beautiful son, sleeping with your head in my lap. Knowing that I am mommy and that those words, that reassurance relaxes and comforts you to sleep. I smile, my heart fills.
The tears threaten to come as I look at the scar on your forehead from a nightmare that got you, before I could get to you. As I watch, even in sleep the tense movements of your body. I sit waiting for you to relax, for true comfort and rest to win. The tears silently slide as I wonder how to heal a hurt I can not truly comprehend.
And yet for some reason this mix of emotions in both of us seems almost appropriate this night..the eve of Mother’s Day weekend.