I never wanted my children to see me cry. To say things like "Mama gets sad sometimes." To grow up telling a story of a mother who loved them, but who was somehow broken inside. In my mind I was always going to be stronger than that. Better than that. Happier. Yet here I am, in the dark, and she is in the doorway. There are pills in the kitchen cabinet that my husband reminds me every night to take.
"So that she doesn't go crazy," he explains to company when they are here late enough to hear his reminder alarm go off. It plays "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" every night at 10:30.
Sara must have heard me from upstairs when she crept from her bed into the media room where her daddy was deeply engrossed in his video game. She heard me and, instead of getting his attention, she turned around, tiptoed down each creaking stair, stood in the doorway for a moment, choking back a matching sob. She almost let it out before deciding that she needed to be strong for mommy. She put on her big girl britches and climbed in bed behind me. she stroked my hair like any good mama does. Gently pulled my bangs free of my soggy cheeks like a pro. Rubbing my back she softly asked, in her three year old, oh so adult voice "Why you cwyin mama? What's wong?"
I explain to her that its nothing to worry about, but the tears just won't stop. Normally at this time of night I would walk her back to her room, tuck her in while she kicked and screamed, and wait until she would tire herself out and fall back asleep. But tonight I reached over and pulled her close to me. Nestling her head into the crook of my arm and snuggling my face into her soft, sweet smelling hair. And we fell asleep. But not before she reached up and kissed me gently on my forehead. Like any good mama would. Just like a pro.