Right now I am so sore that I can hardly move, plus I have an incredible crick in my neck that is causing me to walk around with my held tilted to one side. You cannot believe how incredibly difficult this makes drinking coffee. And I must have my morning coffee. But I’m not complaining. In fact, I am reveling in the moment. In a few years when my children have left home, I’ll probably long for moments like this.
You see, late last night my wife and I lay in bed watching a little television and laughing and talking and enjoying a little solitude at the day’s end. Moments like this are rare; when you have children, solitude usually goes out the window. Usually, the children are always underfoot, so you have to make your own moments. But his moment happened completely spontaneously, and we find ourselves alone laughing and talking.
I was reaching for the remote to the CD player where I had that old school slow jams CD in cue when the bedroom door swings open. It’s the baby girl. Well, she’s not so much of a baby anymore. She’s now thirteen. But I call her my baby girl anyway. Anyway, she’s rubbing her eyes, and whining about something. I guess she might have been having a bad dream.
She wants to know if she can sleep with us tonight. So, of course, my wife says sure, and I, too, acquiesce, and she climbs in between the two of us. I put the remote back on the night stand. The old school slow jams CD will not be needed tonight. And the three of us settle in.
However, a few minutes later the door swings open again. This time it is my fourteen year old son. I guess at some point he realized that he was the only one on the opposite end of the house, so he set out to find everyone.
So, he takes a look at the three of us lying there, and he gets this puppy dog look on his face. I guess my wife reads his mind because she points to the foot of the bed and invites him in: “You can just lay across the foot.” But of course, where my son goes the family rat terrier follows, so much to my chagrin, the whole family minus the two older children plus the family pet is crowded onto one bed now.
Then the jockeying for position starts:
“I can’t stretch out my legs. Who invited you anyway?”
“Well, who invited you?”
“Somebody’s foot is in my chest!”
“Daddy, you are on my hair!”
“Is there an extra pillow?”
“Ruff. Ruff. Grrr!”
And when it all ends, I am the biggest person in the bed with the least amount of real estate. I find myself curled up in a corner.
And then very early this morning, I finally awake from a fitful, uncomfortable night of sleep, and so as not to disturb anyone, I literally roll out of the bed onto the floor. I go into my office and wait for my muse to come so that I might get some writing done. Then to my pleasant surprise, my wife joins me. She slips up silently behind me and plants a kiss on the very top of my bald head. I turn to look at her and smile. I have Sade already cued up in the office. You have to be prepared.
But just then two little heads pop in the doorway:
“Hey, what are you two doing in here?”
“Is someone going to run to Dunkin’ Donuts”
“You don’t need any donuts, fool. You need oatmeal!”
“How you know what I need?”
“Ruff. Ruff. Grrr!”
“Somebody needs to let the dog out!”
“Why can’t you do it?”
And then on top of it all, out of nowhere someone breaks into impromptu rendition of the negro national anthem, “Life Every Voice and Sing.” Where did that come from? In the back of my mind, I imagine my muse sprinting for the front door.
Yeah, someday I will miss mornings like this. But right now I just wish that day would hurry up and come.