There are few things as charming as being read to by a small child. This is what I tell myself because when my seven year old says he wants to read to me, I know it’s going to happen whether I want it to or not. I am so tired, and I warn my newly-turned seven year old that I will probably fall asleep. And because he is by nature an angelic and agreeable child, and also not one to change his mind once he has decided that he wants something, he smiles at me and says, “That’s okay.”
He turns the ceiling fan on its highest setting because he is going to read from a book whose characters are in Alaska, and he wants to set the mood. As I sprawl out on the carpet, G tells me that he really wants to go to Alaska. And Costco. And Disney. I let him know that I really want to go to those places too, especially Costco, and I lie down under the blast of the fan so that I may be read to.
G often tells me that I am lazy, and because it’s hard to explain why I’ve been horizontal for what seems like most of his life, I don’t spend much time correcting him. I got pregnant right after he turned five, had hyperemesis gravidarum for nine months (a lot of lying down), spent a lot postpartum time healing (lying down), nursing and sleeping with baby (more lying down), and now am just generally exhausted from lack of sleep and the steady and now-undeniable approach of middle age (down, down, down).
I pick up any stray legos I see, close the door, and prepare to nap with a seven year old reading to me, and the-busiest-one-year-old-ever about to have free reign in a room that has much too much junk in it. I pray that he will just spend ten minutes open-mouth kissing all the beanie boos and avoiding my spine when, not if, he decides to start walking on my back.
One of the characters in G’s story finds a flyer from 1925. He stops reading mid-sentence to exclaim, “Hey! That’s almost when you were born!” and looks at me.
“Yes it is,” I respond quickly because I’m too tired to explain the math, and because the quicker I respond to him, the quicker I can get back to my nap.