Brigid Goggin is a graduate of Thomas A. Edison High School in Tulsa, Okla.
Shh. We have to be quiet now.
I make my way to the door. Feeling, listening, sensing. Nothing. With calm flutters of excitement, seen in my eyes, felt in my stomach, I open the door, stepping into the only place where the angels reside in one being. The temperature is perfect inside the little room, its only heater the little body which does its job serenely. Slowly, my eyes adjust and I see the perfect, sweet chaos of a child's world under the haze of night. Silent pastels tip-toe around the room, just as I tip-toe. Blue. Pink. Yellow. Green. The colors of giggles, the colors of peace, the colors of tears. The smell. It is the meeting point where swamps and lush fields of lavender coincide in perfect harmony.
The only way true love could smell.
My quiet breathing begins to match a much quieter, much smaller, puff of steady air. I slowly make my way to the crib. I see the rising and falling of the tiny chest, assuring my suspicions. She is sleeping. The pink pajamas lovingly placed on her hours before are now twisted in intricate patterns that only baby dreams could explain. By the look on her face, the eyes gently closed, the lips perfectly parted, cheeks a healthy rose, I have no doubt she is playing with the angels. Patty cake, Ring around the Rosy, Hop-scotch. These are the games that occupy the inhabitants of the clouds while the innocent sleep.
Leaning over the slatted wood, I enter that world. A world we all fear may become corrupt. For even though this little girl has angels for friends, demons await. This sister of mine is too little, too sweet to handle what calls out her name, the real world. It hurt me, will it hurt her? I pray this moment, where she sleeps in perfect trust, will remain forever.
Perhaps I can live that life for her, keep her from harm.
That is not what I wish. She must live, she must hurt, she must smile, she must cry. But her angels will not leave her. Nor will I.
Now I begin to feel the heavy blanket of sleep wrap around me. I must leave this magic place to dream my own dreams. Never as delicate, never as innocent, but they are my dreams.
This little girl who has entered my life teaches me new things every day, patience, pushes me to be a better person. She inspires me to live a life she can mimic; a life full of purpose. I am grateful for her and hope that, as she grows, she will be grateful for me as well.