I went for a drive tonight, shortly after dinner, to clear my head.
When I re-emerged a couple hours later, Margot was waiting up.
She pitter-pattered into my room, wearing a fuzzy Peppa Pig night gown, messy buns, striped leggings, and her favorite tan strappy shoes.
“I want you to blow sleep dust in my eyes,” she stated matter-of-factly.
Vanity wants me to believe this exquisite creature waited up for me, waiting for my warm breath to heave an exhale on her face. But I know she was already up. She was on silent haunches in her room, playing tea party or building Magna-tile castles.
A week or so ago, she crept in late at night saying she couldn’t sleep. Frustrated yet amused, I asked if she wanted me to blow magic sleep dust across her face to make her eyelids heavy.
She remembers things I say now.
She observes when I am flailing in anger or frustration. She mirrors back my every flaw.
And yet she is filled with such tender love.
I wonder: Where does this tenderness come from? My love is crashing and thunderous. Loud. Booming. Disruptive.
But this evening, she stated her request twice.
“I want you to blow sleep dust in my eyes.”
I need it, she explained, so I can fall asleep.
Several minutes later, my sleep dust worked.
In a little while, I’ll no longer have sleep dust. In a little while, I’ll ruin everything and make everything worse for her.
But for now, I can hold her hand tight and make everything better.
I can blow sleep dust. And in writing that here, I can bottle it. Just a little.