Heavenly Peace

I hurry up the stairs, en route to some vitally unimportant and ultimately forgettable task…and I’m caught by an angelic glow at the end of the hallway, in Alex’s room, where Julianna is sleeping…

I tiptoe in, my heart squeezing at the sight of “heavenly peace” … her hair fanned out on the pillow, half darkened with sweat, half glowing golden in the afternoon sunlight…

I could sit here beside the bed all day, breathing in the aura of restful slumber, stroking silky hair and nuzzling soft cheeks.

Those hands, so awkward and unskilled even now, hands she is nonetheless determined to use to do things by herself…as skinny and small as she is, those hands are so chubby and chewy…

I smile and chuckle at the chocolate-crusted face, which rescues an utterly cherubic image from too much perfection, grounds the moment in reality. I could gladly perch beside the bed, rest my head, and let her untroubled breathing gather me in, drawing me below the threshold of sleep. 

But I came up here for some purpose…what was it, again, I was supposed to be doing up here?

Oh yes. I remember now. I was supposed to be waking her up from nap.

And so I nuzzle her cheek, breathe the aura of heaven, kiss her fingers, her palm, until she stirs and the cherubic innocence of her face twists into annoyance, and silent vocal cords begin to protest. And then I gather her up and snuggle her against me. And for this moment, for this moment of soul rest between one noisy, chaotic motherhood task and another, I thank God.

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