We sit in an exhausted circle of pink shag carpet on her hardwood bedroom floor. Spent. The nebulizer is humming and I’m holding the little fishy shaped face mask to her mouth.

Her sweaty cheek is pressed against the crook of my elbow and her curls are tickling the bottom of my nose.

I stroke her arm, over and over, and she crosses her legs just so, her toe tucked under one of my knees. We pretzel. Tired. But home, this place of moms and daughters.

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Pete cleaned up the puke and I’m holding our girl and this moment is so ordinary that I hardly want to whisper out loud my thanks. I don’t want to break the spell of beautiful that I feel lapping at the edges of this ragged day.

So much boring sits like so much treasure in my lap. I’m a quiet pirate and my chest is full.

We are breathing in and out together. In sync, in time, in this tiny nook of a long day that I fear may bleed into an even longer night.

But right now, this place is like doing church together. I hold a world in my lap and whisper my thanks to her Maker.

And I think about all the mamas working the night shift, doing the bedtime two step, the rock and roll of coaxing sleep and timing the tender release of heads into cool beds just right.

This boring ordinary.

This beautiful calling.

This black and white photograph we will carry around in our memories until it is dog-eared and she is walking down the aisle toward her own long nights and lost sleep.

There’s a piece of Lego pressing against the bottom of my leg and the bed behind me is hard and uncomfortable. But I hold her. I just keep holding her.

The ladybug night light paints bright stars and moons on the ceiling and outlined against her new pink curtains.

And our chests rise and fall together.

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