Look at the time - it's early in the morning or late at night... Sister-Bug has been up all night with a nasty tummy something. The poor little thing wakes up in agony every few minutes to shriek and writhe.
(I have thoroughly checked her and ruled out the need for immediate medical care... I'm guessing a very bad gas bubble.)
It was a long day today, visiting my sister in California and adventuring around her haunts. We aren't in our own bed, which makes this harder. And every few minutes I must be ON. On for crooning and tummy rubs and sitting up rocking, or anything else that eases this baby's discomfort.
And I do it.
It's very zen. We are here and now doing this because there is nothing else to be done.
It is nights like this that I feel the Other Mothers. These are the mothers that span time and place. Mothers of ancient Sumeria or present day Finland. Pioneer mothers or exiled queens. My ancestors, and any other mother who has sat up with a sick child, all night long, dredging compassion and patience and one more lullaby from the depth of her weary being.
I feel their hands on my back when I want to lay down, but must remain sitting. I feel their hands gently over my mouth when I want to scream with tired frustration. I feel their love pouring over me, enabling me to continue pouring love over my child.
I am so grateful for those other mothers - the ones who have sat up in the past and the ones who are sitting up tonight. And I hope, someday, my spirit can fly to a future mother as she sits rocking all night long.