I pull the curtain shut. It is heavy and thick and promises to block out the noonday sun; it does an ok job. After we read a book about bunnies (because it’s almost Easter and I try to do cute things sometimes) and before I can pull the brightly colored quilt over her chest, my lemon drop 2 year old looks to me. “Back? Scratch Rozzie back?” Given our history, there isn’t a single atom of me that would say no.
She has been uncharacteristically glued to my side today. She is fiercely, stubbornly, dangerously independent. She spent her infancy screaming in my arms, fighting against unconsciousness with all her tiny might – the only survival instinct she came equipped with. She knew before I did change is just another word for destruction.
“Of course!” She parrots back and curls up on her pillow. As my fingertips graze her spine, she relaxes. True to form however, she forces her eyes to stay open for an impressive length of time. True to MY form, I feel relieved and victorious when she finally gives in and allows her eyelids to slowly, ever so slowly close.
I stay awhile longer, watching my hand rise and fall with her lungs. What a gift she has given me. Unknowingly.
As a self righteous teen I once held the opinion that this was the work of boring women, women who didn’t have much to offer the world.
Well, I am not terribly interesting but what I have to offer is this girl and the woman inside her cells. She rattles cages, hers and yours. I’ve come to learn that scratching sleepy backs is great work. It is holy work.