A minute of peace, then the first whimpers. Whimpers that would build to wails that seemed to shake the walls and made her breasts leak. Has it been two hours already? How long could she go on like this, she wondered as she swung her legs over the side of the bed and sat up. A person couldn’t survive on snippets of sleep. Her waking hours were a blur of changing diapers, her sleeping hours—there were no sleeping hours. Hank’s snores filled the room. She tossed a pillow at him and he snorted, then stopped.
The baby was red with indignation, tiny fists beating the air with jagged strokes, little lungs fully committed to breaking the sound barrier. No, that’s not right. That’s speed. Jeez, she had no mind left. She lifted him from the crib, cooed at him. He calmed, seemed to coo back. She touched his cheek. Like a baby bird, he turned his head, opened his mouth wide. He was a miracle, he was a pain in the ass.
Three a.m. There was a steady beeping. Something pinched her finger. She raised her arm, saw the age spots. So she was seventy-six again. She closed her eyes. Willed the baby to return to her arms. She would cherish him this time, she would.
© 2015 Tracey Enerson Wood. All rights reserved.