I cop a lot of flack for still laying with Faith until she falls asleep. All the typical rod for my back stuff. I suppose I understand - it would be so much easier if I sent her to bed and tucked her in and left. Id probably get an extra hour of study done which would be like striking gold given wrangling a 6 month old who refuses to sleep on top of full time study is pretty darn demanding. But tonight as I lay with her in the dark, like many nights, she opens her heart to me and shared all her worries, her insecurities, the memories she has and misses from her early childhood. She tells me about the girls at school, the ones she really likes and who like her, the ones who are mean to her. That’s tough to hear. Her voice breaks as she sheds tears. I remember that she's facing many of these experiences and feelings for the first time. I listen and play with her hair. Her minty breath is warm as she speaks her secrets to me. The work waiting for me is calling out... nagging me to come to my desk.
I’m torn but of course I stay as her soft words and emotions flow. Maybe it’s something about the dark and the quiet which gives her the freedom, the safety to tell me everything. Whatever it is, I hope it lasts, this bond we have. I feel so privileged to be witness to her inner most thoughts... it’s more special than anything else we share. As she drifts off to sleep tonight I remind her of how amazing she was. How strong, how funny, how kind she is and I hope those last words sink deep inside.
I hop up as her hand holding mine feels heavy. I tuck her in feeling a little sad for her pain, a little tired and a little overwhelmed with what awaits me - both at my desk and in my future as the mum of a teenage girl. Mostly I leave the room feeling so utterly connected with her that it’s worth whatever flack comes flying my way. I’ll lay with her forever if it means she’ll trust and confide in me.
The rod I carry may be heavy, it may seem burdensome, but it’s filled with secrets and hugs and tears and moments that the daylight for whatever reason, simply doesn’t afford. Sometimes you have to take those moments whenever they present themselves, especially with the hustle and bustle of morning mayhem and after school madness which leaves little room for connecting with the little ones we would do anything for. Yep, strap that rod on my back any day.