Peaceful

by Jennifer on September 18, 2015

We sat on the floor of the playroom surrounded by toys and books and the detritus of a childhood thoroughly “played”.  Having ransacked the castle, skipped across the parapets and turned somersaults through the air with magnificent skill, the Ninja Turtle came to rest on a 4 year old’s legs.

S took a deep breath, “Leonardo is peaceful now.”

“He’s peaceful?”

“Yes.  Do you know what peaceful means?”

“What does peaceful mean, S?”

“Peaceful means quiet and calm. Leonardo feels quiet and calm.”

“When do you feel peaceful, Sawyer?”

Little sandy eyes met mine and I felt his baby-soft skin as he climbed into my lap and curled up, his body still small enough (barely) to be enveloped, “When I sit in your lap.  I feel peaceful when I sit in your lap.”

I squeezed him tight, making a mental note to hold onto this moment, as in a few blinks he would be too big to occupy this space.

“Mommy?  When do you feel peaceful?”

“Right now; same as you.  I feel peaceful when you sit in my lap.  And I feel peaceful when I put you to bed at night and snuggle with you and know that you are safe at home in my nest and sleeping.”

But that was only half of the truth.

There are a few moments when I feel peaceful as I put the children to sleep at night.  As I snuggle up next to S and tuck his tiny little noggin underneath my chin and feel the tickle of his hair as it blows in the breeze of the fan, I feel him sigh and I sigh too and I do feel peaceful.

But then my mind wanders.

I start thinking about the day and everything I could have done better, could have handled better.  I think about yesterday and tomorrow and what needs to happen and how I can do my best to make it a good day.  I think about the choices and mistakes I’ve made on their behalf.

Then come the thoughts of dangers, of sickness, disease, friends I know who have lost their children, careless drivers and plummeting airplanes.

I think about their education and society and the world we live in and all of the darkness I want to protect them from.

I think about politicians, and terrorists and ISIS and the rest of the hole that is the Middle East.

I think about the environment and pollution and contamination and the chemicals in their food.

I think about those that would dehumanize them and objectify them and classify them.

I think about the inevitable people in their lives who would wish them harm, who would hurt them and treat them poorly and poke sad little holes in their hearts that I work so hard to preserve.

And “peaceful” is gone, replaced by “control”, “guard”, and “protect”.

And I wonder how it is possible for S to feel peaceful in my lap.

He is not worried about earlier, or yesterday or tomorrow.  He has faith that I will protect him, that my lap is a safe place.

The fact that he feels peaceful, now, is reason enough for me to feel peaceful too.

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