Friday, May 7, 2010

Yo, This One Goes Out To My Mom.

It didn't really matter what story was being read. It didn't really matter how many times we'd read it. What mattered were the soothing sounds of syllables leaving my mother's mouth late at night as I laid in bed smelling my wet hair's shampoo on my pillow. With the lights dim and my glass of water sitting still on the bedside table, I graciously let my mother's voice send me off to sleep each and every night. Sometimes my father would enter halfway through reading and practice his tai chi - his movements so slow and perfect it was like watching a visual interpretation of the story at hand. But it was really my mother's mouth I watched - her lipstick pink and faded from the long day - and whose reading voice rang so lovely in my little girl ears. She wasn't too loud and she wasn't too quiet. Stories were read just above a whisper and her body next to mine was warm and soft and she smelled of the lotion that she would rub on her hands before tucking me in. As she read to me, I would hold her hand and touch her wedding ring with my tiny fingers, twisting it around like a screw. She would look down at me in between paragraphs as if she knew something good were about to happen, but she must have been checking for closed eyes. I tried to keep them open for as long as I possibly could but their heaviness settled in way before I could reach the end of the story. It was just too comfortable laying there next to my mother in the scoop of her spoon. She made falling asleep very, very easy. And as a woman of 28 now, I have her to thank for that.