(For Emma, 9 months)
Tonight, you would not sleep.
I shushed, rocked, and comforted as you tossed and turned.
Your vacant eyes stared into space, refusing to sleep.
Each time you felt them grow heavy and close, you shook your head: no.
Tonight, I kissed each of your fingers.
I held your hand, wrapped around my thumb.
I felt your body close to mine, growing heavy with age and sleep.
I stroked your downy hair and your tan legs until you twitched woke again.
Tonight, each time I tried to put you down, you started with the knowledge that I was gone.
Your eyes poured into mine, imploring me to stay.
I was completely aware that someday soon you will no longer need me.
You will be a big girl, a beautiful teenager, a strong woman.
So tonight was not the night you would not sleep, but the night we snuggled for hours.