Do you remember the feeling as a child of being carried to your bed by a parent? Of a dreamlike hovering between sleep and wakefulness from the car or sofa, down the hall and into the comfort of your own sheets where the familiarity of smell and texture on your cheek from your very own pillow welcomed you? The arms that carried you there held you close, refusing to let you fall or wake completely as the gentle rocking of forward motion made the short, seconds-long trip feel like an ocean voyage on a ship with sails of flannel or silk, depending on its port of origin.
The only feeling I’ve found to duplicate that calm, that sense of security and closeness, is in carrying my own children to their beds. Hearing the soft, childish snoring, the feel of warm breath against my cheek as I hold them tight, though not so tight as to wake them, is the greatest gift I could ask for this time of the year.
With all the stresses of the season, of money and loss of time, work and uncertainty as a new year and decade approach, it is these short walks, with everything that is important to me in my arms, that remind me to slow down and appreciate the voyage.