Off to bed, boys, and quickly. I have plans for naptime.
There are words to read, words to write. There is coffee to drink in silence. Mama has a soul that needs to be fed, a brain that wants to be exercised. Can’t you see I’m bored, boys? I’ve done my time with matchbox cars, wooden puzzles, baby stuff. I need to exercise my grown-up muscles. I need to think big thoughts, say big things… and I need you little people out of my way so I can do that.
But the youngest one cries, and he begs for snuggles, again.
I lay with them both, pretend I will stay. They’ll fall asleep faster this way. I set a silent alarm for 20 minutes.
And the older boy reaches for my hand. The younger one sighs, curls up close, and puts his hand on my cheek. The tear streaks on his face slowly dry. My feet slowly warm, and my muscles slowly unclench.
In this big bed with these small people, I see something I have missed all day long:
It is not my word that sustains the world.
But it is my arm in this gray sweatshirt that sustains his little world.
I turn off my alarm.
Two hours. No words. And we are refreshed.