August 3, 2008 by Niksmom
I stand watch over my fitfully sleeping son; he writhes and cries out in anguished tones though his body is not consciously awake. His eyes flit open for a moment, resting upon my hands perched on the crib rail. With a wail, he reaches out to hold my hands, pulling them to his head. He sandwiches his head between my palms, wordlessly asking me to apply pressure to make his pain go away, to make it all better.
I stand thus for nearly thirty minutes —shushing and stroking his head gently with my thumbs. The height of the crib and his position —farthest away from where I am standing —make the effort excruciating for me. My arms begin to ache and my lower back throbs in protest of this ergonomic torture.
The feel of Nik’s delicate, long fingers clasped around mine reminds me of how lucky I am to feel this physical pain. I am here to ward off the bogey men which plague his sleep; he is here, clinging fiercely to his mama —his need and his trust writ large in his now open eyes which meet mine in the dim light from the streetlamp outside.
He is here.
I weep with gratitude and guilt.