cry and rest

Saturday, April 4, 2015

102.2. At least that hot, according to the forehead strip thermometer. He's feverish, but not terribly fussy as long as he is being held and bounced. At one point he is being held and bounced by Mark, and Zoe is close and yells something too loudly, and his face wrinkles up into the shocked-and-surprised whimper face that can't help but melt your heart to buttery softness. Come here, sweet boy.

I take him and to the dark of the bedroom we retreat with bouncing ball rolled down the hall to us by Zoe, who gently rolls it into the room, and then not-so-gently shuts the door. Two year olds are such a mix of sweetness and terror. He has long, tired cries, his eyelids reddening with the tiredness. Poor baby. I meet his cries in pitch, length and volume, in empathy. He is naked except for the diaper, and cuddled close up to my bare arms. Skin-to-skin, like we were a little while after he was born. I wonder if some part of him at all remembers the groans that swept through my body that day with each contraction. 

As we continue, his cries grow softer, shorter. Lids droop, muscles slack, the outside noises of cars and night come back into our sphere of closeness. The meeting of cry with cry, the softening of voices, the hush. We are told to rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Because, in the meeting of voice with voice, we are reminded that we are not alone in joy, not alone in suffering. When I meet his cries with my own, he is reminded of safety, of security, of that, finally, he can find rest.

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