Morning came early, with declarations of readiness to get up hurtling down the hallway and rocking us from a cool morning slumber. The force of another after midnight bedtime coupled with multiple middle of the night nursing sessions stalled me in a bleary eyed half nelson. I held my breath with one foot out of bed and clung to the hope that perhaps sleep would find her again.
In less than a minute’s time, “I’m telling you I am ready to get up. Mom. Mom. Mom. Maw-Me!” broke through the last wispy curtain of sleep. I padded barefoot across the honey colored hardwood floors, the diffuse light in the hallway mercifully easing me into a wakeful state before the assault of the eastern sun.
“Mama, can I go downstairs?”
I looked down on her still puffy with sleep face, full lips blossoming beneath a button nose, wide blue eyes staring back at me expectant and hopeful. Please don’t let her start with a request I cannot honor, I willed silently.
“Can I have Noggin?”
My relief at dodging potential tear shed softened the blow of a request for tv before even a hello. Let’s leave the mom guilt for another time shall we, Amanda. A little tv won’t damage her for life. There are simply too many variables to draw lines in black and white about tv and organics, hands on and logged on.
“Sure baby, we can watch some Noggin.”
She sprang from the fleece blanket she still insists on sleeping with despite the oppressive Adirondack mugginess and clasped her hand in mine. A breathless, “Can I jump?” and she leapt from her bed. We walked together, pausing at Avery’s room, Briar pressed her finger to her lips, Shhh. Avery’s dark hair fanned out, its darkness a stark contrast to the bright white of the crib rails. Her feet poked through the corner of the crib. She sighed and a smile passed across her face. Briar giggled as we crept down the stairs.
Opening the door at the foot of the stairs I wondered if she’d drop my hand, run through the house and stand at the now empty bed, realizing all over again that they had gone. We stood on the last step, each savoring the rich morning sun spilling in through the windows, the plaster walls shone.
“Today we’re gonna have a whole ‘nother kind of fun, right?”
“Every day we’ll have a different kind of fun.”
“I am so happy today, mama.”
“Good, that makes me happy.”