The soft, warm, plump cheek covered with a light down of soft hair like peach fuzz feels silky on my lips and cheek as I gently rub my face over this sweetness that is my child. He is still now, finally sleeping, sweet-smelling breath coming out in little puffs through half-open lips that are smooshed on the pillow.
Blessed stillness that gives quiet space for my heart to expand into this vision of sweetness, opening to the warm, tingling, stretching sensation that is the swelling of love within me. A bubble of warm energy rising up in me – an almost a sorrowful ache of a feeling – with an energising upwards whoosh that is the feeling of goodness and happiness and love and joy and awe. I gaze at him and allow the feelings to expand in me, aware of the gift this is.
Even in his tranquility I can still see the movement of his day in my mind’s eye. Industrious arms and legs, fingers and toes, still a little chubby, body busily moving from here to there, actively engaged with this or that. Dancing, moving, talking, laughing, climbing… And now so still. At rest. Preparing for the activity of tomorrow. This day full of learning, expanding, exploring is completed and so much waits to be discovered tomorrow.
This blessing that is my child tested me today – as he does every day. Who he is brought a smile to my lips, joy to my heart, a few muttered curses under my breath, a bit of awe and some grudging respect for his sheer determination – even though it was at the cost of my wordly belongings. In response to his many explorations today I felt laughter bubble in me, anger rise up in a sharp sudden tidal wave, anxiety spike the centre of me, peace fill me and deep appreciation wrap itself all around me. What will he bring me tomorrow, I wonder.
My responses to his actions have taught me more about myself today. I saw where I was kind and where I was stingy, where I could give and open up and where I shut down and pushed away. I witnessed myself as a person today through the feelings drawn from me towards him. I glimpsed my life’s journey mapped out in my words and gestures to him.
And now he’s asleep. So sweet I find it hard to hold it all within me. I need to move my body to adjust to the sharp, expanding goodness of the feeling, to release some of the exuberant energy that comes with it. I do a little wriggle, a little dance, a little stretch, allowing the sweetness to flow through me and fill all the space I have. Deliberately looking at him and inviting those delicious feelings into myself. Letting it be. Allowing myself good stuff. Giving myself permission to be filled with sweetness and love. Allowing the good. Like he does daily.
He doesn’t block good or fear it. He doesn’t feel threatened by joy. He understands that’s how life is supposed to feel. He expects it and opens to it, seeks it out and dances with it. He’s showing me how life can be done.
I practice it now as he lies in repose. Expecting goodness, allowing it and celebrating in it.
I gaze at his motionless being and conduct an ode to sweetness.
Dear Eilat, thank you for the reminder to allow the good in, to stop and look at my children’s sleeping faces and feel my love for them fill me up, which is actually a gift for me too…to feel that way, full of love. I so often want to hurry out of their bedroom to have my ‘me’ time with a great relief that the demands are over, straight to my glass of wine. I love the idea of pausing to allow the ‘good’ in. Thank you for sharing your inner world. You have such a beautiful soul and a gift with words that enables us to see it. xx
Rachael what a touching comment. Thank you for that. And it’s funny how your comment about dashing out for the hungered-for ‘me-time’ makes me aware in return of how much more I do that than standing still and allowing the sweetness to fill me up as part of my life experience. So you are reminding me to pay attention to doing it more. Though to be fair to us all, you do need to dash out otherwise they’ll never bloody go to sleep will they? And then how can we gaze upon them adoringly if they won’t go to sleep??!!!