Epiphany #96 “One Moment”

            I stood in the doorway and watched her.  She was tired.  Exhausted.  She ran her hand through her long, curly red hair as she got up from the bed.  She took small barefooted steps across the tile floor to the white bassinet in the corner.  She bent over it, peering in at the noise coming out before she reached both hands in.  The small little bundle of blanket was making a racket now.  I could see his tiny little scarlet face pinched tight with mouth wide.  She held him tight against her chest and shook her head.  For a moment, I could see in her eyes that she felt as if she was bailing the sea with teacups.  She was overwhelmed and weary.  She bent to one side and picked a diaper up off the changing table on her way back to the bed.  She turned and sat down on the edge of the bed.  The screaming package was insistent, now, diminutive limbs waving wildly as she placed it on the bed.  She worked mechanically.  Opening the diaper, dabbing at what lie beneath, rolling the diaper into a nice little bundle and then replacing it with a dry one.  The screaming started to subside a little.  She picked it up again and looked into the little face.  It was only slightly less crimson than it had been when she first picked it up.  She used one arm to fluff the pillows up behind her and she moved back into them.  The quilted parcel was now cradled in her arms.  She made herself comfortable and pulled a blanket over her purple plaid flannel pajama bottoms.  Her fingers worked to undo the buttons of the top as she held the shrieking infant up to her breast and pushed the nipple into the caverous hole that now opened to accept it.  She looked down at the blonde head cradled in her hand and leaned back against the wall.  Her eyes closed for a moment and started to sing, “The ants go marching one by one…”  A coughing sound forced her eyes open and down.  She adjusted his head and he suckled greedily.  She continued to sing.  The baby quieted and his eyes locked with hers.  She smiled at him and raised him up over her shoulder patting him until she heard a satisfied burp.  She held him in front of her and smiled at the blonde curls that covered his head.  She brought him close and smelled him.  He had that wonderful new baby smell of baby lotion and powder. She whispered, “I love you” to him and cuddled him.  Finally, he was no longer the awful crying dirty diaper machine that she’d been living with for the last six weeks.  She was in love with him.

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