by Howard Hain
Sometimes in the middle of dinner I find myself smiling. I love to watch her prepare her plate; her little way of doing everything. Other times it’s when she’s cooking one of her little meals or carefully packing her bag for the day. Then there’s bedtime. I check the locks on the front and porch doors and then check the dials on the stove. I flick off the kitchen light and on my way up the stairs I shut the switch for the chandelier in the dining room turned work room. At the top of the stairs I see across the large box-shaped sparsely-furnished hallway into our bedroom. Usually my reading lamp is the only light. And there on the right side of the bed, her pillow seeming not to notice the weight of her delicate head, lies my little Laurie.
She smiles while she sleeps, and there’ve been many a night I’ve left the lamp on, pretending to read; turning toward the middle of the bed and holding the book up high in order that the light fully illuminate the page. My eyes don’t read the well-lit words but the goodness in Laurie’s face. If she wakes, her smile brightens as she adjusts to her own image reflecting in my eyes. She’ll actually purr and move her little body closer to mine, sliding her right arm into the crevasse between my left side and the warm cotton sheet, shutting her eyes as undisturbed as they opened.