It’s midnight. I am putting away the ingredients I was using to pack Jade’s lunch for school tomorrow. Michael appears at the top of the stairs.
“Halia’s awake,” he says. “She wants you to come give her a kiss.”
“Okay,” I say, and quickly gather a few more things to stash in the fridge, just in case I am detained in Halia’s room.
When I arrive, I peer into her dim room. She is lying still, breathing softly, blankets tucked up around her shoulders, eyes closed. She’s already fallen asleep again, I think, but I’ll kiss her, since a kiss is what she wanted. I bend over her bed, kiss the peach-fuzz cheek, nose tickled by silky strands of wayward hair.
Her eyes flutter, just barely, and a tiny voice, heavy with sleep, escapes her lips.
“Thank you, Mama.”
And here is another pearl of motherhood, a moment I would love to capture, to save up in a bottle. I’d have it in my coffee every morning, and savour that feeling all day.