It is early. I am sitting in my office under the cover of darkness, sipping coffee, enjoying the silence.

Suddenly I hear the pitter patter of little footsteps on the stairs. She appears from around the corner, her face illuminated by the light of the Christmas tree. Cheeks flushed and silky blond hair tousled from sleep, she squints as she stumbles into my office. The silence is broken.

What are YOU doing up? I inquire.

I couldn’t sleep, she mumbles in her six-year-old voice — still very much a little girl but no longer my baby.

I put out my arms in invitation, and she climbs up on my lap. Her legs dangle over the side of my chair. Her feet almost touch the floor, she can no longer fold herself into my  lap.

She rests her face into my neck, the way she always used to do. I am comforted by the softness of her cheek against mine.

We sit like that for a time. I feel her rise and fall against me with each breath. I drink in her sweet little girl scent, savoring her warmth, the smoothness of her skin, her strength, her vitality, her aliveness.

There are no guarantees. But she is here now. Alive. Happy. Innocent.

That is enough because it has to be.

Just Write.

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7 Responses

  1. I slept with my 3 year old daughter last night for very similar reasons. I wanted to hear the sounds of her snores and her breathing. I wanted to just hear her.

    Beautifully written, Jo-Lynne.

  2. I just emailed with a friend about plans we’ve been making, it feels so… weightless. So naiive and frivolous. There are no guarantees. But yet, the things that keep us from really living… this life- why not? What have we to lose? It’s a wild perspective. Above all I’m so thankful.


    1. Yeah, I’ve been contemplating what my response should be, and I have determined that I will not let this steal my joy. I cannot mourn every tragedy, or I won’t be living MY life. And right now my life is lovely, and yes, frivolous, and while I am sad for those involved in that heinous act in Newtown, I can’t let it steal my joy. It does, however, make me take less for granted. Hopefully by enjoying the everyday moments more fully, I can honor those who died so senselessly.

  3. Beautiful! I love your response to Stephanie and it was exactly what I was discussing with my friend Friday afternoon. Our biggest challenge when things like this happen is tuning out the media (all forms) once we have acknowledged the lives that were taken. It’s easy to get sucked into the emotion of it and feel almost guilty for wanting to tune it out. We must find a way to redirect our thoughts so we can focus on the joy in front of us. My heart is saddened for these families especially because the holidays are upon us, but I can’t let this take away from celebrating the happiness in my own life.

  4. Beautiful. Before this happened, I had just posted on Facebook that I am learning to appreciate the moments God has given me with my children. Especially those moments like bedtime, which with my older children, is now closer to my own. I have stopped complaining that I have no “down time” at 8:00 every night. I was annoyed that I still have to talk to and parent my teenagers late at night. The other night, however, I had so much fun with them joking around and watching my oldest make cookies for his class at school. I really want to have an appropriate perspective and appreciate these times. Our children our blessings. That sounds so trite but I want to treat them and my time with them as such. Thanks for sharing.

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