Watching my baby girl sleep and suddenly I am struck with the thought that I don’t want her to know how much ugly there is in the world, how much cruelty and violence, how shallow and hateful it can be. It pains my heart to think that, after she conquers crawling and walking and close-mouthed kisses and sleep, there will be a darker world of things to learn. Some of it is important and necessary (there are bad people in the world), but some of it is so unnecessary! It saddens me to think that someday she will look at herself in the mirror and hate what she sees, someday she will feel less than she is and far from anything safe and secure. Someday our world will try to label her and box her in and she will have the choice of giving in or fighting back. Someday her eyes will be opened to a world where you have to fight culture and status quo in order to live free.
And just when I think I will become overcome with sadness at the thought of such pristine innocence tarnished, a friend reminds me that there will also be much joy to be felt and good to discover, there will be sights and sounds that will astonish and delight. There awaits her in this world such remarkable beauty to be found.
And so I breathe again, a little bit easier, reminded that if I were to spare her every pain I would be robbing her some of the fullness of her joy. I remember that one must understand darkness to truly appreciate the light; a smile seems brighter after tears.
Someday she will flush with the satisfaction of a goal obtained, an obstacle conquered. Someday she will know the love of a partner, someday she may know the bliss of a child.
There are many somedays. There is only one today. And so, as she sleeps, unaware of the battle in my heart and head, I snuggle her close. I breathe in her soft baby smell and focus my thoughts upon my own moment of joy, my own little bliss.