The worst part of every day for me used to be the goodnight. Not the evening, nor the witching hour, but simply that time right before I would close my eyes.
No more housework could be done, no writing written, no love loved. It was such a definitive close. My legs would writhe, while I’d twist my hair in my fingers, trying to hold on for just a little bit longer…
I’m tired, now. I’m ready for bed post-dinner, though I make it a little longer than that.
Yes, there is a child, but he has breathed more life into me than out; he has not exhausted me half as much as he has rejuvenated me.
This was his first Christmas, this day, and also marks his ninth month.
I whispered, “Merry Christmas” to him as we laid him to bed. He flipped over onto his belly and deepened his breath.
When my mom called, moments later, I was just finishing Phase 1 of a 3-part dishwashing event. “Kelly, please watch the Dolly Parton special at eight. Please.” She begged.
I put down my towel, while I threatened. “This will be your only gift, mom — if I do. You got that??”
I could hear the joyful shake of her head, in agreement.
Soon after the movie started, he rose. He was howling, his eyes wet and his nose running, and was struggling to breathe.
So we turned out all the lights but those of the tree…and we let him watch his very first movie.
He sat in our laps, eyes heavy, smiling at the little girl on the screen. He stared at the tree. He moaned his little tired sounds so loudly that I had to crank the volume.
Right before he was born, that’s when sleep was my worst enemy. I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t calm down, scared I’d soon no longer recognize anything about me.
I don’t recognize myself much, anymore. My core feels unchanged, but these arms are new. They wrap themselves around humans in ways they never had.
And I sleep. Boy, do I sleep.
Someone once told me a quote about resistance. I can’t remember it word for word, but I remember it equating resistance with the highest kind of pain. What can’t we handle, if we fully embrace it? What can’t we do, when we’re walking, eyes open, into the light, or even into the dark?
My eyes are so open, all day, these days. I don’t close them at all, for longer than a blink. There’s just so much good to see.
And now, when I hit the pillow, I don’t make promises or entertain regrets. I let my eyes flutter for just a moment. And then I shut them. No resistance.