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  • It started here on this day when the father was at the barn (again) and the toddler was running around and around and around (again) and the mother was at her wit's end (again) with a crying baby and a bottle-fed lamb. And the only thing to do was to try something new (again) because what worked last time to soothe the screams wasn't working this time (again).

    Why not put them both in the hammock? Why not try rocking them, together? At least they are contained. At least there is a promise of a moment where she can gather her thoughts like scattered toys, abandoned dishes, rogue socks, runaway balls. What is time? Where is freedom? When can she sleep? What has happened to her brain? Where is her heart? Will she again ever know a role other than that of support staff for these little beings? Will this gloom ever lift?

    She puts them in the hammock. She rocks them. She sings lullabies loudly over the squirming and screaming. She sings every lullaby she knows, and then starts in on Christmas carols and campfire songs, and tries not to ask: does anybody know how difficult this is? How this tears her soul apart? How every previous success in her world means nothing because of her failure right now to soothe her own child?

    But then, slowly, they settle. They lift, and start to drift. Lift and drift. She stops singing and just breathes. Lift and drift and breathe. They succumb to the quiet. Lift and drift and breathe.

    She thinks that for the moment,
    It will be okay.

    Lift.

    Drift.

    Breathe.

    And maybe,
    One day
    In the future,
    It will all be okay.

    Lift.

    Drift.

    Breathe.

    And maybe,
    One day
    In the far future,
    They will know quiet
    And cherish it.

    Lift.

    Drift.

    Breathe.

    This little girl,
    And this little lamb,
    Who, in spite of everything,
    Are so beautiful
    Together.

    [Inspired by The Quiet People written in 2015, by the little girl.]
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