The First Light is the Deepest

I don’t know how long he had been crying. Minutes most likely, as I had only been sleeping soundly for less than an hour. Yet his cries, sharp as they were, had reached me softly.

I had been sleeping sound and heavy. It was a sleep that I seldom get but always need. I am up too late. I am up too early. My wife has a work schedule that dances around that. She is in bed way before me or long after. Sometimes she comes and goes without my knowing. Sometimes I lay awake and let myself worry.

She was gone with the sunrise today. I stirred slightly. I had been up during the night with the needs of bottles, diapers, and the demons that follow a Sunday of football and beer. I had not slept well.

Sometime between her departure and the waking of the baby, I fell deep into dreams that wound like never-ending episodes of shows I had forgotten and wrapped me in the comfort that only the warmth of memories can provide. I was buried, and I slept like the dead.

Somewhere, from the corner of a dream there came a cry, then another, slight at first, but growing like the pending arrival of distant thunder. The cries took form and made their way through my mind, all the while wishing me to wake. And then I was.

He was standing in his crib, and he smiled when he saw me.

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