I get here, and who are these strangers in my house?
Archer looks up at me. I’m trying to hide my face from him but it’s too late. He frowns, his bottom lip quivering.
“No, please don’t cry,” I say. “Mommy’s okay, dude. Everything’s fine.”
But he knows. Because his chest is pressed against my heart and he just knows. He leans back, takes the pacifier from his mouth and the blankie from his shoulder, and gives them to me. Because
when he cries, that’s what I do. I give him his blankie and his pacifier, and within minutes he’s smiling again.
And so I sit -- with mascara down to my ankles, a pacifier in my mouth, and a red blankie over my head.
Yes! This is exactly what I need, I think.
“Thank you, Archer.”
I pull the blankie off my face and there, in front of me, is my perfect baby boy, smiling with his eyes.
And at once I forget about everything that has thrown me from my horse, and moments later I too am smiling again.From the book Rockabye by Rebecca Woolf. Reprinted by arrangement with Seal Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008.