There is a certain way you call me.
It’s not really calling me; it’s not loud. You say it softly, repeating it, but not asking for anything.
You say it when you sit in my lap, you say it when I come home. You say it when we’re doing nothing together. Sometimes you’ll put your hand on my arm and look up into my eyes.
At night, you cry out, but I’m always there, I rub your back and say, “Shh, it’s okay.” You say it then, scooting your little body and pressing up against me, saying it softly into my neck.
It sounds like a balm being spread on a wound; it sounds like fingers running through hair in the middle of the night. It sounds like an affirmation that love is real and present and still healing us, even if we were frustrated a moment before. Another wave laps over us, another bird lands on the shore.
Trust. It sounds like trust.
I know I won’t always have this key to you. I will infuriate you, I will disappoint you with my lack of patience and my humanness. I will let you down, I will seem out of touch, and to me, you will be a galaxy away and I won’t be able to reach you. We will cry rooms apart with the doors closed, wishing the other one would just relent. We will eat dinner silently. We will be embarrassed of what we said. And what we failed to say.
I know all of this will come, because we are women, and this is how it is between women. Our emotions explode out of us like a soda can in the freezer and we think, God, she just doesn’t get it! It is not permanent, even though it can be devastating. There is a tear in the fabric before it is stitched together again.
When you have your own children, I will say to you helplessly, maybe then you will understand.
But for now, for now…there is just your hand in my hand, your weight in my lap, your head on my chest and that sweet word, full of trust and goodness. The way you say it reveals the way you see me.
I don’t take it for granted for a second.