The smallest child comes to my bed early in the morning and if I am still asleep he is sad. He cries and I pull him on top of me and he says “no sleep mumma!” and keeps weeping and his tears are in my mouth. It is one way to wake up – with salty tears in your mouth.
There is a mother I watch who has a child on her lap and she holds the child’s long hair in her hand. It fills her fist, a limp rope. The mother is absent minded, exposing the child’s neck is an unconscious instinct. Cool the child: lift the hair. Like other parent-child touching, this gesture is so soft and common it is maybe unfelt, like ones own sweater against ones own skin. But watching her I wonder how long it has been since I have felt that exactly: the weight of someone else’s hair in my hand. A long time. I would like to feel it now. Today I felt the weight of a handful of cilantro. I wonder if it’s similar.