Pearl, 12:45am, crying, then burping. I think she might throw up. I feel like I’ve just finally fallen asleep, even though I went to bed two hours ago. She asks for water. I get the water, running down to the kitchen to get a glass while she cries for me. I’m thinking, shit, she’s going to wake Aviva. I’m wondering if she’s getting sick, or already sick. She drinks the water, whimpering. Says it hurts to swallow. She lies back down next to me and I rub her back, stroke her hair. She keeps waking up, saying something random in her sleep, or crying out. Each time, I am right there. I know exactly how to soothe her. In minutes, she is asleep. And then I lie awake for a long time, listening to her tiny snores.
Aviva, 8:30pm, laying her clothes out for school tomorrow. “Which shirt do you think goes better with these pants?” she asks. Which pants? I ask. She shows me the super funky colorful ones, hand-me-downs from her cousin, then holds up two shirts, one black with a picture of a cat and a box wrapped in ribbons, the other stripes in every shade of pink. We agree, definitely the black one. “Oh! It has some gray in it which matches the pants!” she says. Then she opens the closet door, standing in front of the sock basket saying to herself, “Now I need socks!” I say to her, “Vivi, I just love you.” Without missing a beat, she replies, “OK! Good to know.” I laugh out loud and she turns around and laughs, too, and we laugh together, over and over repeating, “Good to know!” She gets into bed and throws her stuffed animal on the floor. “Mama is my big stuffed animal,” she sighs, shoving her cold feet between my legs.
In the midst of it all – and there is plenty of “it all” lately – there are these moments of pure seeing, when I feel like a mama through and through.