Sunday, July 6, 2014

Close your eyes

I know many of his secrets. I know he was restless again last night. I can see fatigue in his eyes.

“Are you tired?” I ask.
“No,” he says as I watch him yawn.
“Shall I hold you?” I offer.
“Yes,” he says as he lifts his head for me to cradle him.

At nineteen he still looks at me imploringly, willing me to know his needs. With a look that says fix it. Make me feel right. And though he towers over me now, though his childhood years are behind him, I hold him as I always have. Today I know he needs sleep. I know like a young child, he resists leaving conscience thought. He can't find his way to slumber.

“Close your eyes,” I say.
“No close your eyes,” he refuses.
“Just close them for a minute,” I suggest. "Just rest your eyes."

He accepts that as a compromise. Within a minute his eyelids stop twitching. His body relaxes. I hold him until his breathing grows slow and steady. I carefully move my arm away. Then I inch away. In the soft light of the afternoon sun I watch him. At peace. Aware I still have the power to make his world feel safe. 

And I wonder about tomorrow.

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