Thursday, February 9, 2012

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Yesterday I wrote about this horrible dream I had Sunday night.

It left me shaken for some time afterward and I finally fell asleep that night after letting my mind wander through the various cute and funny things my kids had done over the course of the weekend. We'd had a great few days together. I have to say it was the first time probably EVER that I thoroughly enjoyed my kids the entire time when usually, by Sunday night (with two kids by myself for days on end) I would be exhausted and completely ready for a day in the office the next morning.

Normally, my kids go to sleep without much fuss. I want them to have the experience of being brothers in bunk beds, whispering and giggling with each other in the dark, but to a certain extent, you know? If they get too loud or start fighting, it typically takes only one warning and they're out a few minutes later.

Monday night a little voice called out from his bed long after I thought he was asleep.

"Mama? I'm HOT!"

The electric baseboard heating in my apartment is probably from 1972 and has two settings. Antarctica or Arizona. I, apparently, had selected Arizona. I think it was about 93° in there when I opened the door to tend to his cry.

I turned the heat back to Antarctica and checked on Nick. He was sweaty-headed, but sleeping peacefully.

Still affected by my dream the night before, I asked, "You wanna come sleep with Mama?"

Mama's Bed is like the all-time favorite spot in our house right now. A few weeks back I finally set up my second TV in my bedroom. It had been on my dresser for awhile with no real purpose. I wasn't about to pay AT&T for a second U-Verse box considering how little I watched the one we had, but I liked the idea of burrowing under the covers in the midst of the dark Wisconsin winter to watch TV at night.

So just after New Year's I bought an off-off-off brand blu-ray player with wireless Internet capability and connected it to my existing Netflix account. Mama's happier than a pig in poo and my boys are more than willing to put on PJs at 6:30 on a Saturday night so that they can watch episodes of Walking With Dinosaurs or America's Funniest Home Videos while all cuddled up. Plus they have my ex thinking that I have a "Movie Room" in my apartment.

Invited to the Holy Grail of Awesome Places They Have to be Invited to Go and Never Get to Sleep, an excited four-year-old excitedly whispered, "YEAH!"

It was just before 9:00. I had planned to watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad before bed, but a little one-on-one time with one of my favorite little men was suddenly way higher on the good times list.

I had him climb under the covers while I stood in my adjacent bathroom washing my face ("Why do you do that, Mama?") and brushing my teeth ("Hahaha! Momma, you're funny!"). I flipped the switch across the room, leaving nothing on but the bedside lamp. ("Oooh! Its all cozy and dark in here!") And he just kept talking.

Most of the time when he gets into these talk non-stop moods I'm busy trying to do other 20 other things at the same time and the sound of his little voice continuously asking questions and demanding answers drives me slightly batty.

Monday night, his questions were beautiful.

He excitedly told me about his swimming lessons, his friends from school and his favorite Nintendo DS game. He snuggled up with me, his face inches away on my pillow, his pink cheeks slightly chapped from the pool water. He giggled as he asked if we could have McDonald's for dinner the next day, and when I said no he laughed again while asking if we could have Taco Bell instead. His big brown eyes sparkled in the low light as he took in every word I said. I could smell the bubble-mint scent of his toothpaste.

I wanted to memorize the expressions on his face, the roundness of his cheeks and the earnest way he waited for me to answer every question.

Finally, sighing and slightly laughing, I said, "Ah, Will..."

With a huge grin on his face he said, "I'm a funny little dude!"

I laughed. "That you are, buddy!"

"Mama?" he asked.


Rolling to face away from me on the pillow he asked, "How bout we finish talking about this in the morning?"

Now really, what could ease my mind better than that?