January 6, 2012
She usually falls asleep every night without protest. There's a kiss for her, a kiss for her stuffed monkey, blankets tucked in, and the door clicks closed to a darkened room. But every so often, Millie has a bad dream.
It's a different cry than one for a tummy ache or a desire to be out of bed and playing. It's more urgent. I turn the doorknob and find her sitting up in a corner of her crib, blankets askew. She reaches up for me without even being able to make out my form, as if she feels my presence there.
With the filmy light filtering in from the kitchen, I scoop up her long body still caught in a half-sob, and lean back onto the rocking chair. She melts onto my neck and chest and sighs sorrowfully until her breathes are calm again. She doesn't move a muscle.
I look around the dim, grainy room. Stuffed animals and dolls recline in a basket against the wall, their faces always cheerful. Books are neatly lined on the bookshelf. The alarm clock gives off a hazy red glow in one corner. Pictures of her hang on the wall, reminding me she isn't a newborn anymore.
And sometimes, I close my eyes and match my breathing to the rise and fall of her own. All I can do in breathe in how lucky I am.
If it's all a dream, what a good dream it is.