Mia calls from the other room, “Mommy, can I print?”
“Yes,” I say, asleep on the couch. A few minutes later, she walks into the room. My eyes open at her footsteps. She shows me her picture. A hot air balloon she has colored pink with broad computer strokes that are so un-brushlike, they resemble solid tubes of pink. The balloon’s gondola is colored black in a similar fashion.
“Can I cut this out?”
“Yes, come with me.” I take her to the desk, demonstrate how to hold the pair of scissors, blades closed safely in her fist, while walking. I lay the scissors on the desk. “Now you do it.”
She does fine carrying them to the coffee table. I follow her, return to the couch and watch her work. The few moments of snatched sleep have stilled my head and I can watch her with clarity. Everything else but her, everything in the room, in the house, in the world, falls away.
Mia wields the scissors like a sculpting tool. She slices in wide swaths at the edge of the paper, slowing and refining her cuts as she gets closer to the round balloon shape in the middle of the page. The only sound in the room is the dry scratch of the blade moving through the paper and her intense breathing as she concentrates, holding the paper close to her face.
Peace. Love. Gratitude. The whole deal.