Monday, March 5, 2012

Dear Lily

Dear Lily,

Yesterday you were so sleepy. Your eyes were heavy, and your words ran short. I asked you to go to your room, sure you would lie down and fall asleep. I watched from my place on the couch as you struggled to keep your eyes open while watching a movie.

I was annoyed with you. Why can't you just sleep? Why must you fight what you know is good for you?

Then you looked at me. You sat up, and stretched your arms out to me, asking to come.

How could I resist?

So you slid like a puppy into my curved space, nestled tight against me. Your head was at my breast, your hand curled into a cup. And as I watched you, it was as if 5 years disappeared and you were a baby again, so small and sacred in my arms.

Your ears are the same- small and pink. Your lips heavy and full, your lashes long and elegant against your pale cheek. Your hair is longer now, but still so much the same- fine, wispy against your face. Your hands are bigger now, of course, but so perfect, the lines of them heartbreakingly fragile as they curled into the space under your chin.

I watched your eyes close, smiling as you drifted off, your body against mine going heavy and lighter all at the same time. I wrapped my arms around you as you sleepily whispered "Mama." Then you were asleep. It took a matter of seconds.

And I thought about this moment. All you needed to sleep was my touch. My arms, my scent and my breathing is a lullaby to you, a sailing space that is safe and known. You can drift with me, fall away into darkness and calm.

And as I held you, I thought of how I am held. How the safety I give to you is an extension of the safety God gives to me. How I drift on the words of my prayers and the hope that they give me, sailing to a place this world cannot touch.

Oh my sweet Lily, you have taught me so much. But the most remarkable and wonderful gift you have given me is the knowledge that I am more than your mother. I am a child of God, and He gave you to me. To raise, to carry, to hold and to nurture. Your presence in my life has helped me to know what is important and what is right.

And most of all, you have taught me to love with everything in me, to give of everything I have, and to allow myself to be held.