Look at Them Asleep

Come and look, come and look at her asleep, her arms floating above her head like seaweed, across her pillowed hair like ribbons. I love her ferociously now as she is, one week from three and on the verge of growing. She has seemed to be three for a long time already but now I am using up the last of how extraordinary she was at two, With all of us hanging on every word. Maybe her age will catch up with her now and she will join us in the world of ordinary.

Maybe not.

I loved him the same way when he was her age, (exactly her age one week before she was born), like a physical pull on my arms. I almost wished her to stay unborn so I wouldn’t have to lose him but I knew I would have to let him go anyway and the weight of my undivided attention would have probably crushed him.

She will call for requisite kisses at bedtime, the correct placement, the exact number, and then dismisses. (though I would lie for hours beside her watching her fall into sleep if she would allow). He will take as much as he can get, Purring like a kitten under my hand, but I am wary of giving it all for fear he will curl into a ball and return to me and never step into the world.

He is the sort of child who should have wished for an older brother to forge the way ahead. He is not built to take the full force of being the

eldest and would even rather leave that task to her. She of course would take it on, she being as strong as he is gentle. They make a good team. I look at them now and am glad I cannot see their future for it would break my hear t to see them long limbed and independent, though I know that the space I have for them will grow slowly with them as it has before, and I will cry and rejoice at their parting from me as I have before.

I look at them sleeping tangled and damp and I wonder at the wisdom of loosing on the world something so frightening as my love for them.

1997

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About Mikaela

I am an artist and writer living in the Perth Hills
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