Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are you my mother?

It has been a LONG week. It has been an even longer month. One without breaks, one that began with a sick toddler and included many, MANY nights of an uninvited three year old making his way into our bed. A snoring toddler who likes to kick the crap out of everyone in said bed.

We are on the threshold of a nice, long Memorial Day weekend. I cannot wait. I do not have any plans, but really, I don't require any. All I long for is just ONE full time job that does not require lesson plans, grading or end of year procedures. And I don't care if there is no retirement plan for this particular full time job.

That being said, the past two nights have brought full nights (and I use that term loosely, as full night these days means 5 hours of sleep instead of the standard 8) of sleep. My sister, God bless her, let me borrow her cool mist vaporizer, that, much like Mr. Sandman, has brought me rest, and sleep for my precious little boy. No snoring. No waking up in the middle of the night. No visits.

But more than that, it has brought back my cheerful three year old. Joshua, with no sleep, is less bearable than a full on lobotomy; anesthesia, optional. He has been argumentative, on a hunger strike, unable to rest, and therefore, an evil troll. But, after two nights of sleep, he is back to being himself.

Which is a good thing.

Because I was considering my options.

This evening, after a full day of work, a faculty meeting, a visit to my mother's former condominium, (which my sister and I like to refer to as the money pit), errands, a pharmacy run, dinner and baths, everyone was ready for bed. Matthew was up completing homework. Andrew lay in bed, whining about the noise the vaporizer makes and reading, and Joshua came out to get me.

"I reads to you, momma," he declared as he grabbed my hand. He led me to his bedroom.

"You are going to read to me?" I asked.

"Yes," he exclaimed as he climbed into his tiny toddler bed, and he opened his book.

And he began. "A little egg jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped..."

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman.

And with the quiet roar of the pounding rain as it hit my roof, I sat cross-legged on the floor, next to his bed, my head resting on the bed rail, enthralled. I sat listening to the sweetest little voice in the world, as he "read" his book, with intonation, with pride.

He has undoubtedly heard his teacher read it to the class countless times. He obviously loves it.

I, myself, have read that book hundreds of times, to hundreds of children over a 16 year teaching career. I have heard it read back to me just as many times.

But no other time came close to this.

My baby boy, the youngest of my brood, is growing up.

I sat and listened, with my ears, with my heart.

And my heart was happy.

And I prayed for another restful night for all of us.

So that I can be his mother. And I can be a mother to his brothers...

Here's to a rainy night's sleep.

And I wish the same for all of you...


  1. How sweet all of this is. What a little sleep will do for all of us right? I'm glad you had one "full" night sleep and hope you get more! I am going on my 5th night or slow with too many middle of the night wake ups. I don't feel like myself and my kids are not liking this Me. I'll hope tonight is the night!

    I love that book too... I remember it from when I was little and loved it then too. And I love the way little kids use their imaginations when they read. Precious.

  2. That is precious. These are the moments that ground us.


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