It’s late, the room is dark and the hum of the cool air from the vent mixes with the sound of sleeping breaths. She was upset by something tonight, refusing to sleep alone, she needed to be in her mamas arms. Her head rests on the softness of my once flat stomach, now decorated with the results of 4 pregnancies. Her downy waves of hair are soft between my fingers, and she’s cooing in her sleep. She’s clutching Sloan’s beloved tiny stuffed duck, when she’s upset and can’t be calmed items of his always seem to ground her. In an hour it will be Mother’s Day. A day I find to be both comforting and heartbreaking. Mostly the latter. It’s hard to presently mother living children while also learning how to mother a child lost. It’s hard to celebrate the two different versions of your mothering, of yourself. It’s hard to face a day that magnifies these things. So I think, maybe this feisty, independent baby needed my arms tonight. Or maybe, just maybe, my arms needed her.