It's 3:30am...I'm up because Morgan fell out of her bed and then fellout of her state of equilibrium. This time was better than the last. Letting me hold her while she gave voice to some early loss, but I could not assuage. It took me a while to realize her immediate loss. Her anchor of the week...a small card with a picture of a car on it, folded in half...had slipped out of her hand and behind her bed. When it became clear she wasn't going to be able to settle down, I brought her to the living room and flipped on Baby First TV for her but she would have none of it. Still fighting against what she had lost...she combed the floor for the missing card among the set of the others.The not-quite-good-enoughs. And I realized what she was looking for! Slipping into my room, my husband sleeping soundly thanks to his"father" status, I turned on the bathroom light and found the missing treasure. I left him as I found him, sleeping soundly. I returned to the living room to find my daughter crawling about on her belly in the other cards moaning with a grief that comes from a dark place I've read about but never visited. But I had the card!
"Monkey, I have your card."
She stopped searching the floor and looked at the folded cardboard inmy hand, her body shuddering. She snatched the card away and climbed into the recliner, stowing the card under her pajama top.
And there she sits, rocking, watching the images on the screen, tongue stuck partially out in fatigue. A smile sweeps across her face as she presses her belly and feels the card underneath. She has a full sippee of soy milk which she did not drink but wanted to have. Her face is tired, from lack of sleep and battling the dragons in her head. But for now, the few familiar things she has spread around her have chased them back to their hiding spots. Her eyes mere slits as she fights sleep. I do not blame her.
I sit here on the other side of the room. She does not want me for comfort. But I hope she knows at least on some level that I care about her and what is important to her. I can brandish the sword and wear the armor, but I can not fight her dragons. I can only tend her wounds when she does.