August 18, 2010


On any given morning in our house, the order of wake up is something like this. Unless an alarm goes off earlier, I start waking up around 7, even on days that I want to sleep in. Who knows why, years of getting up for class and then teaching and then early feedings and so on I suppose. Evelyn is also, compared to the rest, and early riser, usually waking up as I pass their door, no matter how quietly I tiptoe. She'll be an excellent mother of teenagers if she keeps it up. Will rolls out of bed around 8, usually after some prodding. He'd happily sleep till noon if I let him. And then there's Briton, who is already showing the teenager-like habit of sleeping in till we force him out of bed. This summer we've been particularly bad about just letting him sleep, and generally he's in bed till 9:30 or 10. Rough life.

But not this morning.

This morning I could hear him chattering around 6:30 talking to himself, and then his sister whom I assume he woke up so that he had someone to talk to. Before long he came into our room, crawling into bed whispering "I'm so excited!"

I totally get it. When I was seven or eight, I was at my Aunts house the night before my birthday. Lying on the trundle bed in my cousin's room, surrounded by her Cabbage Patch Kids, I was vibrating with excitement. There was no way I would sleep. Eventually I went looking for my grandmother but found, instead, my Aunt who took pity on me and forever earned a spot as cool in my book by letting me open a present in the middle of the night.

So up we got. To open presents and get hugs and watch Briton turn eight. Evelyn, who for the past three days has been down with Strep, perked up this morning - whether for her beloved brother's big day or because the penicillin finally kicked in, who knows - asked to wear her favorite dress and a flower in her hair.

Eight. It seems very old. I remember when I was first pregnant with Briton, I used to daydream about introducing my son to people. A tall, handsome, sweet boy with his daddy's crooked smile.

He's upstairs now, in his much longed for newsboys cap, putting together the playmobil that I bought in the spring and have had stored in the basement where I suspect he spotted it long ago. But he's been good enough not to point out that he knew what was coming, instead telling me how much he wants the very set I already bought for him. Because he is that tall, handsome, sweet boy with the crooked smile, the boy of my daydreams. What kind of lucky mama am I?