...I hold E's hand and she holds my finger and her still, heavy weight on me feels like the only thing that matters or exists in the whole world.
...I find myself thinking C'mon, let's go, we have to go to that thing, just a little faster, are you done yet?
...she won't stay still, she pulls my hair, scratches at my face, grabs at my clothing, tears at my flesh, kicks at my side and the chair and my chin and I wish she would FOCUS and SETTLE and soon we are both DONE.
...I start to sing, usually "There is someone that I love so" to the tune of "And Bingo was his name-o", and she always smiles, first with her eyes and the corners of her mouth, then she pulls off to smile with her whole face as she watches my lips intently, tiny neurons firing inside her head, and neither of us notice or care that milk is pooling in the dark recesses of her neck folds and my bra.
...I hear Z calling for me or crying for help or crashing into something and I wish I knew if she really needed me and I wish Z didn't always pick this time to fall apart and I wish I could divide myself in two and stay here with E and run to Z all at once.
...I hold E and I remember Z being this little and I try to cement this feeling in my mind and body, knowing that I will forget no matter how hard I try not to.
...I think of all kinds of blog posts I want to write and turns of phrase that mean something to me and people I need to call and things I need to remember to tell CG and I can't write them down and I know they will be gone by the time I get to the computer or some paper.
...I hold E stiffly at first, breathless after running for her, maybe not wanting her to cry for a second longer than necessary, maybe mentally still somewhere else. Then my shoulders sink an inch or three and I breathe in and out and I feel the slight tingle that means I am here, really here, if only for a few minutes.
....I think about all the other women in the world, over the centuries, who have known this bond, who have loved someone like this, and I feel a little less alone and a little less scared about the state of the world.
...I think this is truly the most useful I have ever been and will ever be.
...I imagine the skin on my belly opening up and swallowing her whole, back to the place where she used to reside, where I could hold her completely and never let go.