It’s been four nights since we slept through.
Four nights of fevers so high they scared me.
Four nights of rocking and rocking and rocking her till I was sweaty with her sweat.
There is a rocking chair and Motrin and the ER and tests and then this room again. And still we rock and still she sweats and still we rock. Four days in mama years is a lifetime. I get scared and small and the universe feels like these four walls even though I know this won’t last for ever.
She is getting better.
I come back to this computer for snatches while she sleeps to try to rub my words over all these thoughts I have in the dark -like kids rub crayons over leaves or coins to make those paper etchings.
I etch words over memories. Over emotions.
I write and scratch at all the complicated inside-outness of my own head. The words, no the writing the words down, they help make sense. I draw my own road map in reverse. It happens and then I write it.
Looking back I can see the direction where we’ve come from and it feels less scary.
Sometimes other people can find themselves in the backwards map I write too. In the one you write as well.
We color in a road map for the lost and we find ourselves in the process. All these words leading me home.
She’s crying again. I will walk into the dark and she will have hands raised wide open above her head. And I will bend down and pick her up and hold her skin to skin and we will rock the fever away.
And I will have written the memory. And thereby lived it twice.
What it’s like to mother. To feel her hand pressed against my collar bone, her foot curled up under her leg pressing against my belly. How her curls smell like so much wet puppy. Her voice hoarse every time she bleats another, “mama.” She wears my DNA and to comfort her is to comfort myself.
My blue eyes looking back up at me from her flush face.
And from these words.