Saturday, November 20, 2021

1:30AM- Someone to Watch Over Me

It is 1:30 AM. I have been standing here for nearly half an hour, almost frozen, afraid to move, or even breathe too loudly. Staring into the crib at the tiny figure who still grasps my finger in his hand. Is he asleep? Really? I mean really. 

This is a dance I began four decades ago with a different partner. Tonight, in the darkness, the embers of those days light up in my mind. I recall the rhythm of my son's breathing, my hand pressed against the small of the smallest back I had ever gently touched. Worried if I released him from contact, if he felt even the least sense that he was alone, we would have to begin again from where we started. A parent and child pas de deux requiring absolute precision. It was time for him to rest. Time for me to rest. But not just yet. Not until I was certain I was certain.

Tonight I look down upon my grandson with the same sense of joy, mixed with more than a hint of trepidation. He lies there unaware of any of this, knowing only that there is a friend close. That he is safe. As long as I remain near. Remain here.

The pacifier sits idle, watching slightly bemused. Or is it amused? Its work completed, at least for the moment. I bring my finger away, in the slowest of all motions, each inch another contemplation, wary of any reply, even imagined. None appears. I keep my gaze fixed on the crib for an instant or two more. And then I make my quiet as a mouse exit, almost melting each step into the carpet for fear that a creaky floorboard may sound the alarm. Finally  the door closes, a victory in retreat complete. My watch from above now but history.

He will not remember our dance when he awakes. Not even know that his grandpa was ever present. He will have slept the sleep of a baby.

But I will not forget, not ever. How could I?


Andie said...

Beautiful sentiments, beautifully written, as always!

Anonymous said...

Pure sweetness


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

You are such a wonderful writer capturing your every emotion and evoking those of the reader. Your choice of words is always so spot on …. and somehow always seem to touch my heart!!! You have such a wonderful gift!!!! Forwarding your email to my children. I know they too will appreciate your every word and will do very much relate.

I’m always looking for a good book to read. Can I encourage you to write one??!!!