Have you ever watched a child sleep? Before I became a mother I never imagined how fulfilling watching my own child in her slumber could be. Last night Alice had bad dreams so I brought her into my bed. She immediately went back to sleep as I laid her beside me as if the heat from my body chased away all the monsters. I laid there for what seemed like hours watching the rise and fall of her little chest. She was so peaceful and I have to admit it was contagious. I thought about the life I want so desperately to give her. A life without pain or at least a life without pain caused by me. She's 'unspoiled', her canvas clean, her heart still in tact. I know some day I'll probably help pick up the pieces of that heart and it will hurt me just as much as it hurts her. I have to wonder if my own parents watched me sleep and wished the same things for me. I have to wonder if my father ever felt guilty when so much of the pain in my life was caused by him. I suppose it doesn't matter does it? Pain exists and whether someone owns the responsibility or not, it's still yours to endure. Alice is whole. She's unbroken. Her world is filled with possibility and my job as her mom is to make sure that I never take one single possibility away from her. I never want to the person she blames at age 38 while she lays in bed unable to sleep because her demons swirl around in her head. I never want her to ask the same questions I have pondered so many times only to be left without the answers every single time. I know we never mean to hurt people and as much as we try to always do the right thing, the fact is - we don't. I don't want to be perfect, I want to be accountable. Accountable to Alice, accountable to myself.

I'm convinced God put children on this earth to remind us that life doesn't start off painful. It starts off simple, with a canvas waiting to soak up the color of happiness.


  1. Michelle said...
    I can relate to this so much, there are a lot of things that I hold the hurt inside that my mother and farther have cause, mostly my farther. I do not ever want my son to feel that way about me. If anything, I want him to be thankful for the things that I have said and done for him. Painful or not, I hope that I make the right decisions for and with him to help him become a person with a brightly colored happy canvas.
    Caterpillar said...
    I think Alice is so lucky to have you for a mother. You aren't letting what happened to you happen again or letting your own heart's hurts be taken out on her. Instead you have learned and are so aware of everything, so I really believe you are the perfect combination of awareness and love.

    Also, I remember you posting something your father wrote or said about you as a little girl and his hopes and love for you, and I do think that he probably watched you sleep sometimes and wished the same things for you. He just made some serious mistakes in his choices. But I think he has a similar deep soul as you. Of course, I don't know either of you personally, but that's just my little impression from afar.
    Anonymous said...
    Our babies remind us of peace and respect..some humans lose site of this when they suffer from lack of ,
    for themselves.
    Personally Net, we who have suffered that pain and address it within ourselves,become the kind of parents
    who enable little humans to grow up with a greater sense of self and love.
    Awesome post today my friend :)
    Thanks for sharing ~
    Networkchic said...
    Cat...you know I'd forgotten about his words...and thank you for reminding me. I guess the difference between wanting the best for your children and actually giving it to them is that accountability thing. I know a part of my dad wants to be held accountable but that's hard when the larger part is still in denial.
    Da Gal said...
    NWC - I often relate to so much of what you say. Today you are reminding me of something I posted when I said that I wonder what the reason or meaining is behind all of the pain and the painful experiences I have and do have in my life. Someone, Alex, commented that I have experienced all of this so that I can help someone else get through it and see that they can thrive after experiencing so much.

    I know your lil Alice will experience pain, I think my wish for her will be that she has the strength, courage, and wisdom to talk about what happens in her world and to work through it and live on as a shining star for all who follow in her path.

    To me, the depth of the pain in my life is reflected back up into the sky by the joys that reach equally high.

    Take gentle care beautiful one.
    kimmyk said...
    I useta just sit in my children's bedroom and watch them breathe......for whatever reason...I've always felt it to be comforting. Even more so when you're holding them in your lap.
    NML said...
    Beautifully written. I have no kids but I'll remember this post when I do.

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