Every pulse of my being desires to keep her safe. Draw her up close and not let go. Surround her with covers and the tenderness of my mama arms, stroking her tired head, rubbing her sore tummy in circles.

I am still drunk on coziness, the wonder of stories read on pillows and shared tales and inside joke silliness when the littlest’s papa comes to move this sleeping girl to her bottom bunk.

In the middle of the night our middle comes to our bed and says she can’t sleep, tucks herself in the space between. She almost never does this, and I am struck by the near silence of her breath as she sleeps, the slight rise and fall the only sign she’s sleeping at all.

I read that safety is wrapped up in belonging and not the absence of trouble. When you pass through the waters, you will not drown, when you pass through fire, you will not be burned. You are mine, God says. Mine.

These images dance in waves and flame and stutter stop in the back of my mind.

It is true, I know. They will face pain. They have.

Perhaps it is more true. They are claimed.

I am thinking as we gather close that the safety of a warm bed and a mama’s sing-song helps us remember that belonging is safety is being named is love, wrapped up as we are in everlasting Embrace.

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