Anna fell asleep by 6:30, leaning up against me with a cooked carrot still clutched in her hand. I managed to change her diaper without waking her up too much, then just left her in the clothes she had on, pulled her shoes off, and took her up to bed. She slept through much of the racket, but then woke up again just a few minutes ago, crying out for her mommy.

I had a feeling that some of the bigger booms would wake her and scare her. Before she fell asleep we’d all gone for a walk around the neighborhood, and right when we got back home, just as dusk was falling, someone came out and set off a firework in the street. It screeched loudly and then whizzed into the air, exploding in red and blue sparks. Charlie wasn’t too thrilled about it, but Anna started screaming, and had to be held for quite some time by her daddy to calm down. Then after a short lull the explosions started up again and Anna had run screaming again, this time for comfort from her mommy.

I went upstairs when she woke up and cuddled up next to her. She gave a little whimper and rolled into me, throwing an arm over me. I kissed her forehead and stroked her hair, telling her that she was safe, that mommy was here.

She reached out and grabbed my sleeve and pulled my arm over her. “Hold me, mama,” she said.

And I did.