"Little boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older." -Peter Pan
Last night I had a thought. One of those startling thoughts that begins innocently enough, like the faint vibrations before an earthquake that rattles you to the core. A reality check, you could say, in the truest sense of the term, though this phrase doesn't carry the weight that I felt last night. Perhaps an epiphany is a better way to describe it.
I was tucking Connor into bed, and though he's 9 he still likes me to lay down next to him while he's falling asleep. We talk and talk, and if you know Connor, you know what a chatterbox he can be. We discuss all matters of importance - from what's going on in his Minecraft world, to the bug he found & caught crawling up a tree at school (catch and release), to the science test tomorrow for which he forgot to study (but he's sure he'll do fine). He babbles on and on, while I listen, until he finally drifts off to sleep, sometimes mid-sentence. I treasure this time, it's part of our routine. But don't get me wrong - there are days when I'm behind on work or have a sink-full of dishes in the kitchen and laundry to fold on the couch, and all I can see is the minute hand ticking the time away. Last night was one such night. Dinner ran late, dessert even later, pushing bedtime closer and closer to midnight. I had a 6 a.m. video conference scheduled for this morning, and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed with a cup of tea and a book.
Still, the question came, soft as the blankets I tucked in around him, "Mom, can you rest with me...?"
Immediately my to-do list scrolled before me like the never-ending credits of a too long movie. There were hundreds of reasons I could have said, "Not tonight." But something stopped me. Instead I said, "For just a minute."