The Load

Her book was open, in view, and just out of reach. She had stopped wondering about the character’s choices and left the story’s stormy setting almost an hour ago. Her focus instead was on the loss of feeling in her lower left leg. It rested precariously on the edge of the coffee table and had been taking most of the weight of her load. Her elbow burned with the friction of the sofa’s arm as she attempted to shift softly over and over again. She wished she had pulled the blanket off her feet when she had been able to move freely. 

The 13 kilos resting on her middle and upper thighs was so warm that she no longer felt the slight chill she had earlier. With the time to think and feel and nothing more, she let her mind wander. 

Despite all the discomfort, she was in a state of peaceful happiness. 

She had held her own three children so many times, so many years ago. They too had gone limp in her arms often. She remembered this well. What she never remembered was sitting under them motionless. Back then, there was too much to do and worry about. She would bravely risk putting them down so she could desperately get things done. If she did linger for a moment, her mind was always filled with reviewing the days events, planning the evening or organizing all the essentials for the next day.

Now, there was just one. Her routine was predictable and practiced so that planning no longer required the energy it had so long ago. For the first time, she felt the sensation of hovering in the present. Worrying about her grown children would happen, as it always did, comfortably in her bed at night. Not now. She was dancing in the moment and time seemed to have stopped. 

Her only grandson was blissfully breathing on her shoulder. As he fell deeper and deeper asleep, he grew heavier as he finally let go of all the energy that made jumping and running so effortless and light.  Her nose was close enough to his head that she could smell the lemony scent of baby shampoo. The zest reminded her of the baby cologne she had used with her own children. 

She breathed in and out slowly and intentionally. Despite all the weight pushing her deeper and deeper into the couch, she had never before felt so light. 

This post is dedicated to my mother on Women’s Day who has advised me to let the dust gather and not worry what the neighbor’s think. 

6 thoughts on “The Load

  1. Wow! This is absolutely beautiful! I especially loved the last past about the weight pushing her into the couch, but never feeling lighter. This brings back happy memories of when my children were little and fell asleep in my arms. Your mother is a very smart woman!


  2. This brings back the unexpected parental joy of sitting still, deep in the night, with a baby sleeping softly in my arms. No one had ever told me how wonderful a feeling that is. Thank you for sharing!


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