Not all days can be good, I guess. I went to bed last night and I wasn’t very tired. Or I should clarify my mind wasn’t tired. I was writing stories in my head, scripts that don’t exist and conversations that haven’t happened. I was speaking to my mother and my mother’s mother. Asking them the secrets of life. How did my grandma meet my grandpa? How long were they married before they had my mother? I need to know these things right now. I am haunted by them and kept awake at night because of it. Somehow when I do finally wrestle into sleep, it is fitful. Full of unspoken questions and I can feel my frustration as I sleep. So when Owen woke at 1am, I was annoyed. I had just fallen asleep. Earlier he resisted going to bed, asking me up to his room 6 or 7 times for small things: a drink, a bathroom break, a hug and a kiss and then another drink. I yelled at him. Telling him to just go to bed, I’m not coming up here another time. He burst into tears. “You made me cry.” I know I did, and I am so sorry. My anger fading into a pile of humiliation. Fast forward to 1am, and I can taste my frustration boiling up and over. I stop myself, shoving down my frustration like a piston in a shaft. Not this time, I say.
What do you need son? I need help with my blankets mom. Do you want the blue, white or both? Both. Mom, can I have a drink of water? Yes, of course you can.
His lithe 3 foot frame bounces out of bed and runs ahead of me. The night, making things seem ambiguous and secret, he is just a shadow in the dark house. Am I really seeing him? We finish and he climbs back into bed, snuggled under one too many blankets. He sighs, I kiss him, I sigh. I am aware of the finality of this, these moments will recede and in its stead will be aloofness and independence. Which is right and good and necessary. For now though I am sad, sad for these last moments of my small kids, and sad for my inability to have perspective.
Earlier at bedtime I was trying to change redirect Owen’s frustration. He’s mad that he can’t have the door open, but it’s not his turn and he knows it. You seem pretty mad that we can’t leave the door open tonight (validation, check). Yeah, he says in his amazingly high pitched voice. I wish we could leave the door open and closed every night, I say. Maybe we could make an invisible door, one door could be open and one closed. Wouldn’t that be amazing? YES, they both shout. And it could have invisible windows too, they say, so you could look in and see me when I am sleeping.
I would like that very much, I say. What about invisible glass around the earth, so you could see through the Earth? Addy says. Sounds interesting, I say, but if it was glass it would break. Not if it’s invisible, she says. That’s true, I say. [Insert a story I tried to tell her about the ozone layer. She wasn’t interested, surprise.]
What if we had invisible glasses? Owen suggests. Hmm, sounds fun. Then we could see through things. Yes, we could. Let’s make some, he says. I like where this is going, I tell him. Let’s make some tomorrow.
We’ve got a lot of projects tomorrow, he says.
Yes we do.