I am sitting in a darkened home. Three children are asleep upstairs and the refrigerator hums as I type.
[I felt my body being jostled and there she was, all seven-years of her, shaking me. I’d fallen asleep watching Master Chef Jr. at 8:30. That does not fly when you haven’t seen each other in months and there is still so much to talk about.]
What did we talk about?
She told me about school and how “first grade is so boring.” (“Boring” seems to be the new word.) I asked her why.
“All we do is sit at desks and do math.”
“That sounds pretty boring,” I said.
“I miss kindergarten.”
Don’t we all.
“I wish I were your teacher. Then we could have fun and learn at the same time.”
But I shouldn’t have said it because I saw her eyes dart for a moment with the thought of it.
We watched the oldest brother play flag football, losing terribly. They played tag because let’s face it, I wasn’t feeling it. We sang Lorde’s “Royals” and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and a thousand other songs. Catherine, everyone is looking at us ’cause you’re singing.
They got over it pretty quickly and joined in. Don’t worry. We weren’t too obnoxious.
He threw his body and contorted himself in all different shapes until finally I said,
“You watch it. No hospital runs until after I eat my dinner.”
They thought that was the funniest thing. Oh, Catherine said she won’t take us to the hospital until after she eats. Better be careful!
We laughed in the pizza place waiting for our order. The middle boy shook my soda till all the bubbles filled the bottle. We almost took the wrong food. I forgot to order the mozzarella sticks. We licked our fingers.
They told me about their new babysitter, who sounded nice.
But she, as though concerned for my feelings, leaned over and whispered in my ear,
I read Angelina Ballerina, did not give in to the half-hearted request for more, smoothed hair, turned out lights.
The 10, 9, and 5-year-old are now 11, 10, and 7. They still guess that I’m in my thirties, wonder where my children are, and ask if I can have sleepovers.
Not bad for a Saturday night.