In the quiet still of 9:23 p.m., I hear River still chatting in his bed and the rhythmic echoing boom of the swing, as it rotates from side to side, beating like a giant squeaky heart. Will this be the last time I hear it?
There is just over an hour left until I have to wake Willow up, then we put her down in a new environment. I feel sickly nervous, hating the thought of placing her so suddenly into a new reality and forcing her to adjust. It feels like a metaphor for life, that as much as I want to keep her in one place, she moves out of one stage and into the next, hurtling toward the situations that will both invigorate her and hurt her. I look at the fuzzy pink Easter bunny she received from her great grandma and I want things to remain soft and beautiful for her. I want her to remain, at least for a few more moments, a tiny baby whose needs I can meet, fully and perfectly.
But the swing doesn’t meet her needs, I remind myself. It can’t be comfortable to have her head thrown forward and to the side every time she sleeps, nor can it be good for breathing, or for development. If only there was a gradual way to move from one way of doing things to another.
Boom, boom; squeak. Boom, boom; squeak. River’s babbling in his crib seems to take on the three quarters beat from the swing. The time is approaching.