Just as I was falling asleep, I mean, literally as my eyes were closing, my mom sonar picked up on the tiniest of vibrations from down the hall. The almost inaudible thumps that I immediately recognized as my middle child leaving his bed. And then a series of fast thumps as he ran towards my room, a pause in the doorway, and then more until I heard his heavy breathing at my bedside. After assessing the situation, he chose the empty side of the bed and climbed up. Maybe he’ll just sneak in and let me sleep, I thought. And then he said “mama.” Actually he said it five times, because I ignored it the first four, hoping he’d get the hint. He did not.
But then his eyes got wide and he said to us, because now papa was listening too, “I got in here so fast, by running. With speed.” Like that was a good thing, something to brag about, at 10:30pm on a Thursday, to the people who’s bed you’re invading. And then this sort of gangly kid-baby snuggled up as tight add he could to my back, squinting his eyes shut so tight, and pressed his entire body up against mine. In minutes, he slept, his breathing matching his baby sister’s and I, in some cruel twist of fate that parents know all so well, was wide awake.