19 Jun today
It’s 111 degrees outside, and I’ve let the kids run wild indoors while I read a new book under the cool blanket of air conditioning. I’m not enforcing nap time, because we are all content, and frankly it’s too hot to argue.
The kids sense this, that I’m setting aside our routine, and so they’ve hunkered down in B’s room. I press my ear to the door and listen to them drift away to a fairytale world. They’re operating a zoo that includes dinosaurs and frogs and there’s a baby dinosaur who cries out for his mommy. I instinctively reach for the doorknob before I realize the cries are pretend.
I fix a cup of coffee, burrow into the couch and read 10 pages. 20. 50. Their giggles drift down the hallway. Occasionally one of them will emerge and ferry in glasses of water, a handful of peanuts, slices of cheese. We all feel like we’re getting away with something.
I tick through 15 more pages. Am I taking too much liberty? I question the ease of the situation and the kids’ raucous laughter responds: No. This is childhood. This is them making their own fun… together, enjoying their sibling relationship apart from me.
Eventually they ask to watch a show on my Kindle, and I say yes. They snuggle together on my bed while the opening jingle to Wonder Pets plays.
Ten minutes later, B tiptoes downstairs, fingers pressed against her lips, suppressing a giggle. She says “shhhhh,” and leads me by the arm upstairs and to my bed, where Miles is sound asleep.
“Let’s let him rest,” she says, and then gives a sly smile. She tiptoes over to him, pries a toy out of his hand (a rubber duck that she has been coveting all day), and skips away to play.