So many precious moments I’ve lived, putting him to sleep after a long story. That sweet sweet interlude afterwards as he drifts off to paradise.
His vocal chords and heartstrings concert skywards in an aural swoop, as good as any sax crescendo build, or better, a prelude to a bansuri climax, which instantly floods my soul with lovewarmth and displaces its prior content. I empty.
So cute the way he pauses a moment to make sure that I’ve clicked in, before continuing his song.
-I’m a lit-tle scared.
Now I am completely and joyfully in his possession. He punctuates the ‘little’ in a rhythmic spume of signifying, as he tastes his inner mood, fleeting but singular and definite. So precise his tasting, that I am telepathized into his atmosphere, glimpsing its color in a synesthesic empathy, bestowed — certainly not my conscious doing.
My warmness travels out, and in the process increases inside me as well. (Not a zero-sum game, love.) And within this sheltering gesture my hand kneads gently his upper back and head on his pillow. I strain to become child, un-membraned from the constant swirl of feeling currents bathing all that we perceive and dwell within. I do not want to lose the potential delicacy of what is being transmitted. Keeping physical contact, I await the right nanosecond.
-Because of the story?
His rendition of this word contains at least three syllables, a cadence. I wait, he is formulating more…
-Something inside me, in my ‘magination.
Already a wondrous victory this. Happens once or twice a week, the fear, anxiety. But now he begins shifting the focus within.
-Something that might try to get you?
I tell him how cool his ‘magination is. How he could make it picture smashing victories in which he vanquishes all enemies. He is the hero. Nothing scares him. He can think absolutely anything he wants to. Then we wait a moment or two.
I soothe his head and neck lightly. And with my voice too.
Different from his previous ‘yeah’. Calmly declarative. His breathing deepens and slows in a matter of seconds, and I feel him relaxing into pre-sleep, his whole being. Daddy loves you, I think, good night.
[ Image : a chalk drawing he made which I fell in love with around last Halloween — We’d been talking about the insect world and how some of them have a hundred eyes inside each eye, and totally different ways of smelling and detecting things. ]
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