Curled up in the chair beside me lies a sleeping three-year old, fully clothed to the boots, lulled into slumber despite the promise of a trip upstairs to visit the “workers”, not the first victim of “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star. LittleA’s new habit is to ask permission to close her eyes, as if I would ever say no to even just 60 seconds of reprieve from endless questions and demands “you got to hold me and let me put my head on your shoulder! You got to put Jack DOWN!” Tonight I offered her a movie, a warm spot in the bedroom. “No, mama” she said. “I just want to close my eyes right here beside you in the chair. I’m not going to climb, mama. I’m just lying right here. Is it quiet time, mama?” And that’s when my heart exploded.
She’s crossways in the chair, head wedged against an arm, knees bent and tiny black boots making their mark on the opposite arm. Every so often she’ll shiver, kissed by the draft of cold air that snakes its way around the plastic curtain that’s supposed to prevent exactly this.
Five minutes ago she was spinning in circles on the living room rug, begging me to pick her up and carry her to the second floor to visit her grandfather. Now, my dad leans over her face, tickles her nose with a finger, blows her bangs from her eyes, and still she sleeps.
Press me, and I’ll tell you I don’t wish for all that much. I would have to say in my top 5 though would be the ability to drop off like a child, just go-go go until sleep just overcomes me. I take Ambien sometimes and I wonder as I’m staggering toward the bed (that warning about ‘be ready for bed within 30 minutes’ is no joke) if this is what a child feels like-utterly aching to just lie down and close their eyes. As if nothing in the whole world could be more important at that moment than simply being horizontal with eyes shut tight.
It seems like as an adult I’ve often found myself using drugs both prescribed and recreational for the purpose of going back to an emotional or mental place I enjoyed as a child.