She keeps me up. Again and again and my eyes stop focusing properly. All I want is sleep.
And I whisper to her in frustration, “It’s a good thing I love you so much.”
I love you at 4am when everyone’s asleep but us.
I love you when you projectile vomit all over me in public.
I love you when you pull out the fine hairs on the back of my neck out of sheer delight at the joy of the hug.
I love you when my arms are so tired of holding you because you won’t go to anyone else.
I love you when I have to change your everything in the dark before sunrise.
I love you in bowls of mashed banana and cereal that is harder to rinse out when dry than any other dishes.
I love you with crushed cheerios underfoot and power sockets I have to remember to stop up all over again.
I love you until I feel raggedy inside and out. Until I feel undone and unmade and with perpetual bed head and dark blotchy eyes.
And it surprises me. This raw love. Third time around it doesn’t fade. It simply ricochets back at me the harder I give it to you.
Hold me in your tiny arms, your Raggedy Ann mother, and never let me go.
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