The Bookmark

Warning: Late night maudlin post below….

She can’t fight it anymore. Her eyelids are too heavy, her belly too full and night has come. She nestles in close to my shoulder and I pat her back gently trying to get that one last burp. We rock back and forth until she begins to snore softly, sleeping in the absolute safety of her daddy’s arms. It wasn’t that long ago that her big brother did the same.

I wish, I pray that I could bookmark those moments in my mind, index them somehow so that I could return to them easily. When I’m an old man and my body is failing me and my mind is fading, when I can remember the Reagan Administration but not what I had for lunch, when I tell the nice young man and woman who visit me about my kids and who smile sadly as I do – because they are my kids and I just don’t realize -and let me go on, I want to keep just a couple of those moments. Bookmarked, dogeared in my head, so that I can go back to the nights when they slept like that, safe and happy, bellies full and diapers dry. Back to the time when my role as father was totally fulfilled and utterly fulfilling.

I know there are better memories ahead. Lots more work to be done and play as well. And I’m sure plenty of bookmarks to add along the way. But these nights I want to be sure and fold something between the pages.


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