“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outside Joey's Window

Wow! I couldn't get my kids to bed fast enough tonight. That might not make me Mother of the Year, but my kids were NON STOP today. Crazy. And the poop...oh, God, the poop! I won't make you sit through that.

I had just had my hundredth good-night hug from Noah (because he procrastinates, not because he loves me), and I had my foot on the top stair to head down to freedom when I heard, "Mommy? Mom? Can you come in here?" Joey's little voice was calling from over his white noise fan and through his mostly closed door. I sighed and bumped the door open with my fingertips. He was sitting up in his pool of superhero blankets, and relief came over his face that I'd entered.

"Can I just have my curtains open?"

This is his new thing. It's a major reversal from the days when I had to Scotch tape his shades down to block all traces of light (as I must do with Noah, because he thinks headlights turning into the driveway make it Awake Time), and I've attributed it to his longstanding struggle with night fears. In the old days, it was monsters, but as he's grown and learned more about the world (to my chagrin), it's been more realistic fears that are harder to refute. "But a burglar could get into my room, Mom. I mean, he could. It's not that hard." Well...yes. But it isn't probable, honey; I doubt he's after your Batman collection.

Anyway, I learned long ago that just doing what Joey asks of me at bedtime is the simplest way to get him to relax and go to sleep. If I dismiss him, he grows more anxious and needy. But if I just leave on the closet light/check behind his dresser/give him one last kiss/sing him a song, or, in this case, open the curtains, he finds immediate comfort and goes to sleep like the darling little boy he is.

I was curious, though. As I opened his curtains, I asked, "Is this good?"

He leaned forward in his bed. "A little more."

I realized he was trying to see something specific out his window. I glanced along his line of sight. All I could see was the hideous yard of my unfavorite neighbors: an oversized garage, rubble, and an overgrown garden. They are the reason we put up a huge and unfortunately expensive privacy fence, though from here the fence blocked nothing. I asked, "What are you trying to see?"

He smiled dreamily. "Sometimes I see the deer come out and eat at night," he answered. "It's nice. And in the morning, I love the way sun makes spots on the roof of the garage."

I love him and his big heart and his dreaminess so much I could cry. Really. I have a lump in my throat right now as I type.

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