She sits alone in the dark, willing deafness to her ears and callous to her heart. Anything to stop the rending of her heart strings. Tears drip from her chin like cold, lonely raindrops falling to the ground after the thrill of the storm has abandoned them. Her arms tremble with the need to still the cries. "It's for the best ", she tells herself. A smoky tendril of a voice whispers from the shadows, "You're a terrible mother. It's cruel. Have you no heart?" She hangs her head, beaten down by doubt & confusion. She lists in her mind,"Clean diaper. Full belly. Nursed both sides. Tylenol for teething. Gas drops for bellyache. We sang. We hugged. We prayed. We gave goodnight kisses." There's nothing left. Nothing more to give. Nothing but exhaustion & weariness. Fifteen long minutes. She dreadfully enters the room. Secretly, joy peeks through the curtain of her soul. She longs to gather that tiny body to her own. Kisses. Pacifier. Blanket. She leaves the room, heavy as iron. Only increased screams. Another fifteen minutes. Math seemed painful in school, but this math stabs its leaded tip into the soul.
She sinks to her knees. Fingers her soft, velvety giraffe. Picks up her pacifier and sucks the solace of it. It's not mommy. She cries her disappointment to the empty room. She feels heavy. So tired. Her eyes slide shut. Nodding. Drifting. A wail loses its grasp and slips turbulently through her rosy lips, piercing the momentary silence. She holds steady, braced by a pudgy, ladybug-garbed arm.
With every few seconds of silence, her resolve grows. Then the call of the child-trumpet crumbles her walls. She rebuilds. Head held a little higher. Love. She loves that little person. She desperately seeks success & courage for that little soul.
"That's so wrong. You're ruining your child. You're selfish. It's unnatural. They need touch. They'll feel abandoned. They're only little once." She knows the arguments of both sides. "Spare the rod... Crying won't hurt them.
Self-comfort. You need time for yourself, for your marriage. Structure." Two truths. Torn.
Lifting the child into her arms, she feels relief. Together, as one... As they began the journey. They settle into motion, and the babe suckles. The satisfying weight of a sleeping child cancels the weight of despair.
Having her fill, she lies down peacefully, her little chest rising and falling with the tides of Dreamland's seas.
Mommy crawls into bed feeling warm, fuzzy, and thoroughly defeated. Tomorrow will be better. Or will it?
Imperfection is inherent in us all. Still we strive. We search. It's the beauty of the human soul, created to seek truth.