Sleepwatching (An Ode To Beatrix)

Sometimes, I watch you sleep. I hear you, restless, saying something incoherent over the buzzing monitor box that has never quite worked but has never been bad enough to replace. I wait for a few seconds because, sometimes, you settle and the buzzing box is silent for the remainder of the night. But, occasionally, the restless, incoherent, mumbling continues and sounds like, possibly, you could be having a bad dream. So I venture up the back stairs into your room to check on you. I put my hand on your shoulder or rub your back and let you know that you are OK — you’re just having a dream. You rarely wake up. Though it often, but not always, settles you. Yet, I remain for a few minutes more, to watch you.

I watch and wonder what someone at your age might dream about. I watch because you are just as beautiful, captivating, and as full of life as each moment you are awake. I marvel at how I, we, could have produced something, someone, so magical. I watch to listen to you breathe and to smell the shampoo in your recently washed hair. I watch and envision what you might one day become once you find out that Cowgirl Princess Ballerina’s aren’t in very high demand in this modern economy. Yet, I’m sure, you could probably make it work with the same grace and charm you use with deft skill on anyone who meets you.

I hope to be there, one day, to watch you live every one of those crazy dreams that you dream and watch your every desire lay itself prostrate before you. I know that one day, it will no longer be my job to watch you sleep but, instead, be that of another who I hope will love and cherish you as much as I do and will be filled with the same overwhelming emotions I have in these few moments I spend here watching you. Before I leave the room and close the door and let the angels I’m sure surround you resume their place — watching you sleep.

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