“Mom … why is that part of your boobs pointy?”
Naked and shivering, this is not the conversation I intended to have before 6 a.m. this morning. Every year, for about a week surrounding the anniversary of my husband’s death, my brain is foggy, my innards rebel, and I cannot get out of bed. And that leaves me unorganized, irritable and definitely late for work. And my daughter, like my late husband did, has an uncanny ability to make a hard morning … harder.
The only way my mornings work is if I have 60 uninterrupted minutes to wake up, shower and put on my costume for the day. But my daughter has never been one to let things … work. She refused to sleep through the night until she was closing in on a year and once she graduated to a big girl bed she left it every night at 1:30 a.m. to worm her way into ours. And as remarkable as my husband might have been, he wasn’t going to win any awards for shouldering the midnight load and putting her back to bed.
“It doesn’t make any sense for me to take care of her in the middle of the night. You’re her food!”
“If you’re tired at work you just don’t write as well. If I’m tired, it’s a matter of life or death.”
“You’re the mom. Moms are better at night.”
The last memory I have of my husband breathing – the last moment I remember him alive – I owe to her. When I fell back into bed – exhausted because my company decided to fire Santa that week and Santa found himself a lawyer and publicist and somehow my cell phone number had made its way onto one of the country’s leading media websites and people with nothing better to do had been calling 24/7 to let me know what they thought of Santa getting canned (never mind that Santa was demanding more for six weeks of lap time than most teachers make in an entire year) – he was the last sound I heard before everything went dark.
A sound now less nice and more nightmare.
And ever since then my daughter’s bedtime comfort has ebbed and flowed. For the most part, she stay put, comfortably snoring away under her pillow-y blankets cheek to cheek with her beloved bunny until I coax her from her warm cocoon the next morning.
And then there are mornings like this.
“Why do they get pointy?”
“Well, different reasons. They stick out when babies need to eat. They stick out when it’s cold. And sometimes they stick out when you are excited.”
“YOU’RE HAVING A BABY?!?!?!”
“Good God. I am not having a baby.”
“Then why are your’s sticking out?”
“Because …. I’m naked and wet and cold?”
“Why do they stick out when you get excited?”
“They just do.”
“What makes them excited?”
“Sweetie, they get excited when they feel good.”
“What makes them feel good?”
“Being with a boy you really like.”
“I hope yours stick out a lot very soon.”
With that, I cannot argue.