Tiny eyelashes gently strike my left cheek. The quiet darkness of our spare bedroom and makeshift nursery allowed me to notice. She buried her infant head into my neck while our hearts spoke to one another. Nap time. White noise filled the small warm room. The routine is simple. I soothe my granddaughter to sleep differently than her mother does, but the variation is only marked by a single generation of motherhood. Our maternal sways may not be identical but the love and trust are as familiar as our shared genetics.
I have nicknamed her Belle as it rhymes with her given name and also defines her. She is in fact a beautiful baby as is required by nature of new life. She knows me despite the Covid-19 lapses imposed on our relationship. Happily, she has confirmed her recognition with a broad toothless smile. Maybe she is just entertained by my elfish antics to usurp a smile from her but that matters not. I love every moment we have shared. If the past year has taught us nothing else, we certainly have been reminded about how best to live in the “now” and all future plans are “pending.”
I have relied this week on my thoughts of happier occasions, sweet moments and hopeful anticipation of seeing my family and friends again in the not-so-distant future. I couldn’t help but reflect, rely on and dream about the precious time I have spent with my daughter and granddaughter over the past five months as I tried to navigate the impeachment trial of ex-president Donald J. Trump.
Terrifying images before my eyes as the horrendous moments of January 6th appeared on my television screen once again over the past few days. The haunting male voice calling out Nancy Pelosi’s name through the echoing halls of the U. S. Capitol much like a child does while playing hide n seek. However, this taunting game was intended to be deadly. The crowd chanting Mike Pence’s name as he was only feet and life-threatening moments away from a deadly mob. All courtesy of Donald Trump. The anger, the deep hatred and the violence exhibited by this frightening group left my heart heavy with despair. Each rioter was once someone’s babe in arms. What lessons have they learned through the generations?
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Paine
Congressman Raskin reminded Americans today of Thomas Paine’s eloquent quote and its intended lesson. I hope the Republicans were listening as the voice of our democracy is calling their name…