“Mama,” my small daughter says, as she stands beside my bed. “I think I need you change my diaper.”
“Okay,” I say, groaning and tearing myself from sleep. It is 3:30 a.m. I follow her into her room, where she lets me pick her up and put her on the changing table. Trying not to fully wake either of us, I quietly slip off her old diaper and replace it. Placing her gently back into the center of my bed, where I know she’ll fall asleep again, I slip in beside her and lie down. Within minutes, her breathing settles into the sweet, wet rhythm of small children.
Her knee rests just below my right shoulder blade, while her foot gently twitches on my hip. I lie in bed, listening to the even snores of my spouse, but my brain and hungry stomach will not rest.
Quietly, I tear myself from the warmth of the family bed and slip downstairs to write.