Tori's asleep in her crib, arms thrown up over her head, legs splayed out in that bowlegged position only babies can manage. As she dreams, her little mouth twitches and smiles dart across her face.
She is beautiful.
I rest my hand on her chest, taking comfort in the rhythm of her breath. I want to take her warm body in my arms and cuddle her close, breathing in her sweet baby scent, but I know it would be selfish to wake her.
She looks so small, lying there, so fragile. I think of all the mothers who lost their children on this day eight years ago, and my heart breaks for them. How is it possible to survive that pain? Just the thought of it takes my breath away.
I wish I could keep her with me, safe from harm, always. I wish I could promise her that the world will be good to her all the days of her life. I'm not a religious woman, but as I stand over her sleeping form, I send up wordless prayers, beseeching the powers above to watch over her and handle her with care.
I lean down to kiss her forehead and she stirs, her hand reaching up toward my face. I close my eyes, cherishing the moment, and then pull away.
She needs her rest. I'll have to trust that the power of my love will protect her until morning's light.
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