Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One cool customer

Now, you might be wondering about what happened the day after I lost my mind, shut some doors and then held a pillow over my head until one of us finally slept.

Well, nothing really. Nothing I expected would happen, anyway.

Bedtime came as it usually does at 8:30 p.m., a minute or so before I got home from work and slogged up the stairs to the sound of happy voices.

"Mommy's HOME!"

"She made it for bed time."

I walked into Ittybit's room, where the man was looking tired and relieved, under a pile of bedtime reading.

"The Champ was already pulling me into the hall and toward his room. He was ready to pick out books. He was ready, more or less, for bed.

We read about Lucy Lobster's clacky claws. We read about Al Oft's special job of surveling errant tractors amid the bluffs of Radiator Springs. We even read all about the Dragons that were Not My Dragons.

And it was time to turn out the lights.

"I want to sleep in your bed," said the lad in the dark.

"I know, kiddo. But big boys like you have to sleep through the night in their own bedrooms."

I shut the door with a snap instead of a slam.

He cried. Slightly and for only a few seconds, and then the room was silent.

I woke up after midnight to the same silence. And again at 3 a.m. Quiet.

In the morning the man opened the boy's door on his way downstairs to exercise. He was curled up in bed, still sleeping.

I know this could be a fluke. It could be like that one time, way back in his infancy, when he slept through the night. Or it could be the start of a new development. And the official end of the baby days.

My brain tells me to celebrate his ascention into boyhood. My heart looks on with tears in its eyes. Both tell me to take him to the Surley Drip for a breakfast cookie.

My desire for coffee obliges.

As sit in the seat next to him, sipping coffee and watching him eat the bagel he chose instead of the cookie, I do that thing mother's tend to do: marvel.

He's sitting with my sun glasses, watching the counter girls busily taking orders.

Dusting his hands, he licks his lips and sets down the outer edges of bagel crust. He asks to go to the washroom. After washing the butter from his hands, he's ready to leave. He turns to the girls and bids them farewell:

"We've got to scram," he says. "See ya later."

It dawns on me that while it's been one giant leap from baby to boy, it will only be as series of small steps from boy to man.

And this cat is one cool customer.


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