I am armpit deep into a major developmental edit, trying to accomplish most of it before NaNoWriMo, so I really don’t have much time to spew about my life or to wonder about whether or not I’m editing correctly. (I’ve thrown in the Paperclip Method, as well as index cards and handwritten notes, and all I have to show for it is a major headache.) So, instead, I will entertain you with a piece of creative writing, an assignment from the 21 Moments class I took last year.
When you were a baby, I watched you sleep. I had to make absolutely certain you were still alive, still breathing. For hours, I saw your chest rise and fall, your lips slightly parted, two perfect soft hearts lined in violet red. Your eyes twitched with baby dreams. I wondered, what could you possibly be dreaming of, my little boy who had yet to experience life.
I marveled at your skin, so pale and covered in a paler, soft fuzz. A furry caterpillar across your brow, one that rarely moved. The dark hair, so long on one side. Toes and nails of perfect pearl. You were a porcelain doll, a breathing miniature human.
Now I watch you sleep, my heart heavy with concern. Your breathing is labored, not steady. Your skin is stained red, not a healthy rose, but a dull, almost brick color. I couldn’t wake you after a day and a half. Panic filled my chest, one already bursting with worry.
Life is tenuous. It takes very little to tip the scales.
I considered calling the hospital. I won’t bother 911, they’ve already received enough calls from this address. The doctors might say something encouraging, something that will tamp down the alarm.
Your breathing seems suspended, but you’re not holding your breath. It’s shallow, that’s all. I touch your hand; it’s burning. You said you didn’t feel well. Is it sickness, a bug, or something more substantial? I bring soup, but you won’t awaken. I finger my phone, the numbers are typed in, but I don’t hit SEND. Instead, I pray my boy will wake up and talk to me. I hope he will take a sip of the chicken noodle. I pray to God he will give my son a baby dream, so he will dream like he did when he was two months old.