little body rolls over beside me, little sigh escaping. little hands crawl up around my neck, hooking under my chin. it is here that i realize that i am this little man's whole world and he is ensuring even in sleep that i know to whom i belong. i pretend to be a grown-up at times, stealing moments away to have coffee with a girlfriend, or putting on a dvd to get some quiet alone time with my husband in another room. but i still have to sneak out of the house because there does not exist in time a moment when it is reasonable for mama to leave and every single intimate encouter is repeatedly and unfailingly interrupted. i am after all, a mother. my life does not belong to me. i am the caretaker for another's existence. i live that he might live. i breathe that he might breathe. i eat that he might eat. and it is true also that i sleep only that he might sleep. so the rising and falling of breath beside me is my reason to exist. and this is only true for me, no other. papa can walk out the door and be called after, "go to school!" i on the other hand must be phoned by cell to sing "old macdonald" while sitting on the floor of linens-n-things examining 400 thread count indian cotton king-sized bedsheets. old macdonald had some jersey knit, ee i ee i o. it is a demanding position, to be sure. but how often are we told and shown so assuredly our place in life? i know this absolutely to be true - that i am here so that my children are here. it is not told to me just by little hands hooked around my chin, or little arms in a death grip around my leg. it is told to me by the joints and muscles in my hips and pelvis, aching as they are under the weight of the fruit of my womb. it is told to me by my leaking breasts, waiting to nourish. it is told to me by the linea negra, arching it's way up my belly, however faint this go around. it is told to me by feet in my ribs both inside and out. it is being kicked and screamed into me, forced into me by a willful, currently with cold and horribly stinky sick-breath toddler who has now climbed from our 250 thread count nest into my arms where he picks his nose and waits to be fully awake that he might continue to make it clear to me how much i am the necessary component in his continued existence.

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