I woke up tired and stiff. I didn’t move more than enough to peek out and see that it was still middle-of-the-night dark. Then I heard it. The reason I had awakened in the first place, I am sure.
It was Samuel at the side of my bed, so close I could feel the warmth of his breath on my face. I didn't hear him coming, he was just there, like a little pre-school ninja.
"Yes, Sam." I whisper. It took every ounce of strength I had.
“Hugs?" he asked.
I gave him a big hug, knowing that if I did not he would only climb into the bed and take one. Plus, I like hugs. The clock said 5:36. So close to a decent hour for a three year old, yet so far from anything resembling morning.
“Go back to bed now Samuel.”
He toddled away, but I knew he would be back.
As I lay there in the dark, trying to get back to sleep, the day ahead of me began to unfold in my mind. There were groceries to be put away. The non-perishables which I had been too tired to deal with last night. The living room was a jumble of toys. Portions of dinner were still residing under the dining room table. Dishes. Oh, and the laundry. Basket after basket. Family is coming on Thursday, so the press is on to get Cate’s room in some kind of order. My thoughts continued.
The more overwhelming my day became, the more tired I felt. I realized that what I craved was not more sleep, but less responsibility. This made me feel like a horrible person. Emotionally ill-equipped to deal with these feelings, I drifted back to sleep.
Sam returned about a half an hour later. I told him it was the middle of the night (it was really about six) and sent him back to his room. I felt like a horrible mother. Emotionally ill-equipped to deal with these feelings, I drifted back to sleep.
About six thirty, I heard a loud, clanking noise, like nesting glass bowls being jostled about. (I'm a mother. Even sound asleep I can identify potentially dangerous noises.) Oh, no. He is out of his bed, breaking things. He is going to wake his sister. Or, his father!
I opened my eyes in the semi-darkness to find a warm but empty space where Hubband had been. He had gotten up with the boys. They were both up now. I could hear them. He was getting them juice and such. What a great guy. But, there was no coffee made for him. Making coffee is squarely within my half of the division of labor. I began to feel like a horrible wife. Emotionally ill-equipped to deal with these feelings, I drifted back to sleep.
I finally woke up at a quarter past seven. The middle of the morning to this family. I could have slept longer. A horrible day of work beckoned. Why not hide under the duvet just a little longer?
What finally rousted me was the smell. I came into the kitchen, my guilt barely covered by my red flannel robe, to find a hot cup of coffee and a warm bowl of oatmeal waiting for me.
I still have a whole lot of work to do today, but at least I have a really great guy to keep me company.