My wife told me that she thought G.R. was taking longer than usual to fall asleep.
As I walked down the hall, her soft crying stopped as she listened to see if I would come in the room.
When I opened the door, in the dark I heard her two year old voice, plaintive, daddy sweep wit me.
I laid down on the futon mattress she sleeps on. Only a few inches off the ground on a pine frame my brother-in-law built. Georgia wrapped her body around my left arm. This reminded me of her slippery body falling onto my left arm when I caught her on the night she was born on our living room floor.
The girls in the next room whispered themselves to sleep. The dog barked down the street. Then the bass of the hip hop low rider pick-up that drives by this time each night. And breaths, hers and mine. My lungs have the injury of those years of non-filter cigs on top of the insult of bad lung genes. Her lungs snap little breaths in and out with ease.
If we live to age 75, we take 630,720,000 breaths in our lifetime, give or take. I can't fathom a half a billion breaths. But I can think of the rise and fall of her thorax with her chest on my arm. There is a little urgency to those rises and falls until she gives into sleep