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The other night my eyes opened in the early hours of the morning, a time before the sun stood to take its position for an encore performance of the previous day, and I stared at the ceiling while the rest of my household slept.  In the darkness of those hours I could practically feel the energy of my wife dreaming next to me.  I wondered if I inched closer to her placing my arm around her pulling the covers over the both of us if I could get a glimpse of the sleeping scene her mind had set.  I could hear the hypnotizing sound of a resting two year old through the static of a baby monitor, the abbreviated inhales and slightly longer exhales left to fill her room filled my heart during that morning moment of clarity.

Instead of falling asleep, I found myself falling under the spell of what these early morning hours used to consist of.  The days where Allison and I struggled to find sleep yet held on with the grip of a vice once a minute of solitude presented itself.  The days following the moment we welcomed the face of Heaven into our lives and a small person we just met into our home.  It’s unbelievable how a complete stranger could seem so familiar.  Those early days of infancy cemented themselves in a routine that became so encompassing and second nature that neither Allison nor I ever stopped to question why this baby was given to us.

The answer of why she was chosen as the physical embodiment of the love between her mother and I was obvious.  This baby girl arrived as a compass to guide us in the direction we were always intended to go, a misguided ship lost under the sea of time saved by the reassuring weight of an eight pound nine ounce anchor.  An answer I’m certain of. 

I remember feeling the warm yet stern pressure of God’s hand under my chin one morning three hours after midnight when rest seemed like a war I would never win, the result of an ever-growing army of tears and impatience.  With His hand forcing me to hold my head up, forcing me to look in the face of all He had given me, He helped me understand the lack of communication wasn’t the fault of the newborn in my arms.  He comforted me.  He helped me comfort her.

Allison and I instinctively developed a routine those first few days where we operated like a well trained crew in our new roles as Mom and Dad.  In those early hours before roosters found their voices I submerged myself in the motions of changing the diaper of a beautiful baby girl then passing her off to her mother for a feeding.  A conversation without words that occurred every two hours or so in the very beginning.  A conversation between the two of them that would continue for an entire year.  There's something about the connection formed during breastfeeding that is unmatched by anything else.  More often than not, I would sleep during those dark morning feedings.  Sometimes though, on rare occasion, I would watch the moon sneak in through tightly closed blinds and highlight the embrace of a mother and her child, the embrace of my child and her mother.

Sometimes we dream with our eyes open.  Sometimes, like the other night, I find myself awake watching the same sneaky light of the moon bounce off the walls recalling these memories that fill them.

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