I had planned to write last night. Sean was going to rehears with friends, the girls were bathed and asleep earlier than usual and I had no pressing work things to handle. I pounced on the couch and smiled as flutters of excitement erupted. My fingers twitched and I felt a huge weight lift as I let go of the guilt of not chronicling or pausing in these last weeks.

I cruised Twitter and then Facebook before opening up my blog. I heard mewing upstairs, but imagined it was standard issue tossing and turning. Wrong. Before long the whimpers became full blown screams and sobbing. I set the computer aside and flew up the stairs.

Briar lat crumpled in a ball at the very end of her bead, her face was ashen and her eyes were clenched shut.

“Briar, Briar honey, shh, mama’s here. What is it?” I cooed as I rocked her in my arms. Her cries would not stop, and in fact as her little shoulders trembled in my arms, her crying just grew stronger. I kissed her brow and blew in her face, “Honey, it’s mama, shhh. Honey, shhhh, what’s the matter? What was your dream?” I murmured as I carried her out of the room.

A full five minutes passed before she would open her eyes. She kept searching my face and clenching her eyes shut. I wanted to tell her I was ok, imagining that she had picked up on my recent preoccupation with dying. I wanted to reassure her, in this moment when I had the power, that I was ok, no dead.

“A ghost,” she said. I looked at her and knew she was fibbing, offering up what little she could and the ensuing silence her plea that I ask no more, just rock her. And so I did. After reading a few pages from a book to shoo away lingering fears, I wrapped her in my arms. She kept one hand on my face and the other beneath me, as if the weight of my body protected her.

She trembled and sighed, tossing and turning, all the while keeping her hands and eyes on me until she finally gave in to sleep. My laptop lay forgotten on the couch, my earlier excitement replaced by need. Hers to be comforted, but mine, perhaps stronger still, to be able to give her as much as she gives me.

I didn’t write, but I did live inside that moment, which, in the end, is what it’s really all about, right?