Friday, June 19, 2015

A Love Story

We met on a Monday night in December at 11:52 p.m. I'd like to say it was love at first sight, but mostly I remember an overwhelming feeling of relief, followed by contented acceptance. "OK," I thought. "This is what my life will be now."

We moved in together two days later. At first, we didn't get out much. While snow fell all around our cozy little home we wrapped our bodies in cotton and fleece and got to know each other. Often we sat in silence, letting the ...quiet wash over us like a warm bath. We stared at the lights on the Christmas tree while the rest of the world slept, until our vision became blurry and all of the lights started to blend into one.

Our long nights faded into short mornings. As light piped through the windows I watched her fight sleep until she finally surrendered to her heavy eyelids. When she fell asleep on me it was heaven, like being trusted by an angel. I basked in the warm hum of her body, the softness of her breath, the quiet rattle of her heartbeat.

When I held her at night she would run her fingers through my hair, absentmindedly brushing her hands against me like a blind woman determined to commit each ridge and wrinkle into her deepest memory. I marveled at the way her head fit so perfectly under my chin, like we were cut years before from the same slab of concrete.

When she cried out in the darkness I stumbled to rescue her. Sometimes I cried too. I had never had to feel so much. I was overwhelmed with love and frustration and exhaustion.

I knew I loved her the same way that you know you have a heart and lungs and kidneys. You will never see them, but they are a part of you. You couldn't survive with out them.

We know each other now. She cries out less for me at night. I can only expect that as the years pass she'll be slower to let me hold her and quicker to let go. That I will be old and worn out, with no novelty left. That I will be what is expected, not what is exciting. That she'll no longer greet me at the door and insist that I hug her immediately.

Someday she'll leave me. Our happy moments, our stolen kisses, the nights that we slept so close to each other that her breath echoed in my ear will just be memories to me that she won't remember at all. To me it will be the greatest love story ever known, to her it will be lost time in the blind blur of childhood.

Still, I wouldn't trade her for anything. My beautiful daughter.


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