I hold her close to my bosom, her even breathing feeling warm and precious as we stay cocooned in the rocking chair as the fan whirrs overhead. The room is dark, the blinds filtering the sunless daylight from behind the clouds. I run my fingers through her curly hair untangling and separating the strands. I bend down to inhale the baby smell. She is a cloying mixture of milk, soap and spit up.
I mull putting her on the bed and then decide not to. The peace that envelops me feels too rare to disturb. So we sit there on a weekday morning, rocking back and forth till my mind goes places it does not want to. The refrain from a song I grew up with echoes in my head.
Oh my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why, I’ll cover you sleeping child
The moment is broken and I lift myself up to put her to bed. As I cover her with a blanket and turn away I am surprised by how protective I feel of her. Tiptoeing away, I close the door behind me and stand by the banister watching kids cycle outside. They fall, pick themselves up and zip away. It feels like a metaphor. A message the universe is conspiring to make me understand. I walk away knowing there are but a few years I can cover her.