It is August of two thousand twenty one. I am rocking my daughter to sleep, listening to the sound of uninterrupted life that comes from our company on the other side of the door. Good, hearty laughter, the ringing of wine glasses, and the passing of bread. I count the seconds until she is asleep and I can creep from her room, quiet as sand.
It is April of two thousand and twenty three. Alone in the pooling twilight, I am rocking my daughter to sleep. The app on my phone says the baby growing in my womb is the size of a tarte tatin. With each passing day that one life gets a fraction bigger, another life gets that much smaller. This sacred singlehood–sole child, both Only and Everything. She adjusts herself on my growing belly, and I feel a fluttery kick from inside. Worlds pressing into one another, a quiet colliding.
At 25 weeks, the average fetal heartrate is 140 beats a minute, or 2.3 beats per every second that falls through my fingers to the bottom of the hourglass. I try my hardest to count the beats.
I rock her a little too long. Stroke the gentle knoll of her forehead a little too much. I watch her eyelids flicker as her mind relents to the warm well of fresh dreams. I cannot help it, and kiss her lips, even though she hates it.
Later, when she calls me from the dark of her room, I will go inside, even though I know I shouldn’t. I will lean my growing belly over her crib, and I will not count the seconds. I will listen for nothing, not even the sound of sand against glass. Only the soft lullaby of her breathing.
One response to “Only and Everything.”
Letty, your rich writing always leaves me breathless! Keep writing hon, and just make sure they’re safely recorded for you to read when you’re my age at 80.
Love you dearly, your Gran