In the slumber-sighing night room, I listen with breath held and motions stilled for the certain sounds of my children breathing.
The glow-in-the-dark stars have mostly faded for the night, as have I, and smudged shapes refuse to identify themselves for what I know they are: stuffed animals. A shelf. Possibly a kitten who's padded silently in, waiting for me to settle so that she can as well.
And as my children breathe out, I see the dancing translucence of their dreams and memories and visions of things to come.
L curls sideways around pillows, an arm flung to one side, the other wrapped lankily around Monkey. I kiss his sweet ear or his cheek, and breathe in the little boy smell still hiding there. His chest rises and falls (and sometimes I put my own cheek to it just to make sure, as I've done since he was born and probably will until he strikes out on his own in this world.) I imagine he dreams now of mythological creatures crossed with dinosaurs and Disney characters.
My little Ella sleeps in her own bed, where she seems -- surprisingly -- to really want to be. She's kicked her blankets off her body. Again. But her soft blankie is clutched in one hand up to her cheek or buried over her face, terrifying me. I gently tug it away and my stomach unclenches when she issues a contented sigh. I stroke her quickly thickening head of hair, my fingers silently imparting love and gentleness. Her dreams I suspect are of her brother and myself, maybe the new things she's learned to do, like give open-mouthed kisses and make silly sounds purposefully.
Translucence of dragonfly wings, whisping and whorling into forevers.
The beautiful night goes on.