I worry that she will hate me one day. That she will take personally my look of exhaustion when she dumps a bucket of bathwater on the bathroom floor, or the way I am a little rough with a wet rag cleaning sweet potato from her ear at dinner.
I worry that she will only remember these times. That she will forget the sweetness of my bedtime song, the whisper of my apology as I tell her I am just a human inside a mama’s clothing.
It is a tiring business — the chasing and the cleaning and the entertaining. There is always something to be done. Some mess to clean up and then the next mess that she made while I was cleaning the one before it. There are songs that needs singing, bums that need wiping, and tiny fingernails that need clipping. There is no scoreboard. There is no reward or prize at the end. There is no end. There are many things to fear in this path of motherhood. Many places to hide my worry. There are only few breaks in which I can seek these dark corners out. I take them where they appear.
There is one part of my day where I can stop and breathe deeply and evenly. Where no one is asking me questions about life or demanding to be read to. It is on a purple silk pillow in front of a small table on which I’ve placed some of my favorite things and lit a few candles to illuminate their beauty.
Each morning, I wake up well before the sunrise and walk with sleepy eyes to this place. While my babe is fast asleep, I find a few moments of stillness. I observe my thoughts, chant a mantra to soften my calcified heart, and see myself illuminated in the first rays of the morning.
There is peace here. There is joy and comfort and quiet. All is forgiveness, because there was never any transgression. It is life, sitting on a purple silk pillow.
I sit here for as long as I can. Then I open my eyes, sip a cup of tea, and wait for her cries to tell me that it’s time for it all to begin again.