With my cheek sunken into the pillow, I jolt from my sleep to the sound of her cry. My thoughts will the sound to stop. My eyelids fall shut again. It seems they just gave way to the weight of the day and the book that lies beside me. I hear it again, my body is tense and I haven't been woken like this in months. I've gotten used to calculating my days down to the hour, where I finally have time to breathe, rest and refuel.
I lie and wonder if she is just searching for that comfortable position like she does, or if something is really wrong? She didn't have a fever all day and the doctor said her ears were just fine.
I lie their stiff, waiting, not wanting to fully wake up and I think about those cuspid teeth I suspected were coming in earlier. I relax a little. Then I hear it again and throw back the blankets. I creep into her room and adjust the light to see her sitting up, hand over her ear again, or is it her cheek?
I gently pick her up, reach for the Tylenol and sit with her after I give her a dose. She straddles my waist with her head pressed against my chest. I had forgotten how wonderful the weight of her felt in the wee hours of the morning. Within minutes I hear her breathing heavy again and I think about lying her back down. But the weight of her pressed against me holds me back and I just hold her.
I close my eyes, arms wrapping her frame. I feel her weight and I'm thankful for the disturbance of my rest and for the weight of the day that I traded for the weight of her, and I remember, that this is where grace is found...always in the un-calculated moments.
Edited version from the archives.