TITLE: My Saving Grace
By Roze Vessey
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Curly hair falls messily across her forehead – dark, soft, untouched. Her bright blue-silver eyes sparkle and her mouth curves up in a mischievous grin as she taps her finger on her upper lip. As I glance away I notice, from the eyes in the back of my head, her fingers shoot up quickly going halfway into her nose as her eyes shift my way to see if she’s been caught. She has. As I reach out to grab her hand she squeals, loudly, and stomps suddenly as she laughs at my “stern” expression.
“Child, what are you doing?” I ask with mock horror.
I grab her belly, giving little soft pinches and tickles up her stomach then across her back, smiling at the laughter and screeches that drift to my ears.
“Spider bite, spider bite!” I scream as she runs, slipping to the ground with a giggle.
My heart swells; I can feel love growing inside my chest, moving up to feed the dopey grin spreading across my lips. As I watch I feel tears press against my eyelids, why must I be such a woman? Two years ago I’d have laughed at myself; emotional loving women were always funny. A few tears slip down while I watch her take her baby in her arms, softly kissing its forehead and rocking it, shhing the sleeping child. Tearful laughter breaks from my throat as she flings the baby on the floor, “No! No! Sit baby, No!” she screams pointing a finger and shaking it by its leg. Yes, I so obvioulsy treat her that way.
She filled a hole, my child, a hole that was beginning to spread and infect the rest of my soul. Hooked and lost I didn’t want to live, couldn’t stop but couldn’t go on. This beautiful baby girl, this gorgeous, unexpected surprise literally saved my life and I would love her to death and beyond for it. She gave me hope, love, life.
Walking towards me, she rubs her eyes with the backs of her tiny hands. Stooping to grab her blankie and favorite necessary sleep aid, a stuffed possum, she softly kisses its nose without pausing and keeps coming my way. You know you’re a redneck when your child’s favorite toy is a stuffed possum briefly crosses my mind.
“Night, night?” she asks tearfully, resting her arms on my knees, eyes half shut.
I smile, reach down, scoop her up and plant her firmly in my lap, wrapping the blanket around her. “Cuddle mama, cuddle” she says.
Another tear tracks down my cheek as she trustingly lays her head down on my chest, closes her eyes and firmly grips her stuffed possum in her hands. I tighten my arms around her, pulling her closer and brush the messy curled hair from her forehead. Smiling with teary eyes I plant a kiss on her cheek –my baby, my child, my saving grace.
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