Any way he can
he gets his head on the floor.
Again, the littlest one has plopped
onto his bottom and thrown his head
forward, his face between his bare feet
on the hard ground.
He looks up, sideways, still scream-crying
to see where I am. I still stand
holding the open applesauce pouch
ready to help him, but he wants
to do it on his own – squeeze full to empty
in seconds, maybe in his mouth, maybe not.
After a good two minutes
I give in and give up
and offer him the open, squeezable container.
He won’t take it now.
He is beyond tired,
wanting love and not wanting it.
I scoop him up and love him anyway.
Before her head hits the pillow,
she laments, “I can’t sleep;”
and so the littler one joins her,
“I. Can’t. Sleeeeeep,” she says as she falls
sideways on her bed.
I listen to myself whisper,
“Sleep will come to you.
Sleep will come to you; it just takes practice.”
I say it many times in a row and wonder if it’s true;
I say it many times in a row and take heart in it.
“It’s okay; sleep will come.”
Finally, they pull blankets over their shoulders,
their bodies warm up, eyes close.
Sleep has come whispering, “Surprise
surprise, it just takes practice
and letting go.”
All at once I think about Grace
and the discipline of letting go
and letting go
and letting go
It’s okay, Spirit whispers, Grace will come to you.
Our two babes sit snugly
in their seats at the center of our van;
our two big kids have the back
and we the front.
He reaches over to hug
me, and in a flash I see us older,
Somewhere, somehow, we make it;
We are both there at the end