Tuesday, October 14, 2003
      ( 6:33 PM ) Rebecca  
Last night, I went over to A & J’s house. They are my first refuge when I feel down, because: 1) They have two kids and so are always home
2) They are always excited to see me (at least they pretend that they are), and
3)They will feed me. Oh, and
4) They are a stable family unit, and therefore help me, Miss Flightiness, to feel more stable myself

Unfortunately, Darling Daughter #1 was asleep when I got there. DD #1 has recently become a fan of mine. I think it’s because she’s almost three – the age when kids first start to realize who the cool people are. So I was looking forward to a little adulation from DD#1, but when that didn’t work out, I tried to be a sport and pal around with Darling Daughter #2, who is only three months old.

Now don’t get me wrong. I like babies. Sort of. Not as much as kids who talk, and kids who adore me. I’m not the kind of person who goes into a house where a baby is and says, “OOhh, let me hooolldd it!” Though I am the type who will immediately gravitate towards the three-to-six-year-olds.

Anyway, I tried to hold DD #2. Twice. And both times, she went from a smiling, serene, little angel to a screaming banshee. Within five seconds.

So much for that ego boost,. But a reprieve came later in the evening. While A. was talking on the phone, holding DD#2, there was, apparently, a quiet thump upstairs. One that I never even heard. “Did DD #1 fall off the bed?” A. asked me, putting the phone down briefly, looking half-amused, half-concerned.

Since A. had her hands full, I tiptoed up the stairs, to see DD#1 lying face down on the floor, with a pillow on top of her. I worried for a second that she was dead. I held my breath and walked over, but no, in fact, she was just sound asleep. Just a tiny little girl sound asleep on a big floor. Looking so vulnerable and alone that my heart nearly broke.

I slowly picked her up and put her on her big bed. I tried not to wake her, but of course she woke up. “Mama..” she started to whimper. And I expected the floodgates to open when she realized it wasn’t her mother there in the dark with her.

But instead she opened her big blue eyes wide, saw who it was, and said my name as if I were throwing her a lifejacket in a stormy sea. “B***y!” Not once, but four times in a row, as if she couldn’t quite believe what God had sent her in her sleep.

I lay down on the bed next to her. Then she cupped my face in her hands, like, and said one last time, half-sigh, half-exclamation, “B***y!”

So I lay on the bed with her until she fell back asleep, and for a while afterwards.

And it was the best part of a very bad day.
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