“Thara!” I shout, pulling myself up to my feet. “Thara! Thomethingth wrong! Come quick!”
My mother appears. She’s huge! I stare up at her, wide-eyed and mouth agape, as she approaches in her white bathrobe. She looks so young.
“There, there, Jack. Having a nightmare, are we? Don’t worry. Mama’s going to sing you to sleep now.”
"But…no…wait…thomethingth wrong. Where’th thara?”
"Shh," my mom says. She picks me up and lays me down on my back as if I weigh nothing at all. The motion makes me feel surprisingly lazy.
Hey! There's Mr. Brown, my brown teddy bear, in the corner of my crib. I've always wondered what happened to him.
“Now, who’s this Sara?” my mother asks.
“Thara’s my wiff.”
“I’m sure she is.” She clears her throat as she tucks my blue stars and moons comforter into my sides. She begins singing, “Twinkle, twinkle little star,”
I instantly recall just how beautiful and potent my mother’s voice used to be. She would sing me and my four younger brothers to sleep until we were teenagers. There were many arguments between me and my dad that were set at ease to the sound of her voice. No one had a voice like hers.
No matter. I'm determined to find out what’s going on and why I suddenly feel like a toddler again. “Mama,” I say, trying to pull my arms out from under the blanket. My small, pudgy arms are no match for her masterful burrito-blanket tucking technique. I look to Mr. Brown for help, but his blank stare is useless.
Her voice hums across the crib. “How I wonder what you are.”
I yawn a big sleepy-kid yawn. “I’m forty theven. Thara’th my wiffffff,” My eyelids become heavy. I yawn again.
“Up above the world so high”
“Mama,” I mumble before one last yawn. My lips can barely move. “I’m not a baby!”
My mother giggles. “Like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star, Oh how I wonder what you are.”
I hear a kiss.
I feel her two fingers press against my forehead and my eyes close completely.