Last night, after I had read her Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House, and after I had pointed out that this week's vocabulary words (URBAN and SUBURBAN) were nicely illustrated in that story, and after we had turned off the light and talked about someday living in the country, and after I had turned on her 'sound machine,' and after we practiced what she is trying to say to herself if (when) she wakes up during the night ("I am barely awake, I am in my cozy bed in my lovely room, I am surrounded by people who love me, and now I am going back to sleep"), I told her I love her and am so proud of how hard she is working, and I told her she is strong and brave and kind and that I feel lucky - so. LUCK-y - to know her.
I breathed in her warm, after-shower smell, and kissed her temples.
And then I fell sound asleep next to her, outside the covers, on her narrow, mint-scented bed.
Last night, after Dubs had tucked Ander in, after Ander's lights were out (except for the closet light) and his sound machine was on, after I woke up in Aliza's room and put my glasses back on and walked down the hall, I climbed up into Ander's loft and listened to him talk about his upcoming Forensics competition. While he talked and unconsciously fiddled with Star Blanket, I not-so-stealthily sniffed his hair. We talked about the changing textures of long-loved stuffed toys, and about how jogging is no fun "until it is." I told him I love him and am so proud of how hard he is working, and I told him he is strong and brave and kind and that I feel lucky - so. LUCK-y - to know him.
And as much as I wanted to fall asleep right there, I climbed down and we exchanged the magical sleep-inducing lines, invoking the promise of seeing each other soon "in the morning light," and eventually I ended up in my own bed.
Last night (early early this morning?), after Dubbadad's iPad chimed us awake, after we talked in the dark about high schools and reading levels and whether or not there was something under our bed that would lick my hand if I let it hang over the edge, I dreamed that it was morning, and that Ander was standing on a step-stool in my bedroom, trying to reach a comically oversized pair of scissors that were hanging on the wall by my dresser. I told him, jeez, I can't believe those scissors have been there all these years and you never-ever tried to reach them when you were little, and NOW you're trying to get at them? Stop, you're going to hurt yourself, boyo. And he climbed down off the stool and walked up to me and I realized I was sitting on my bed and that he was only as tall as the bed.
And then of course I knew I was dreaming.
Because there have never been ginormous scissors hanging on my bedroom wall.
And nowadays, when we are both standing, Ander can look me right in the eye.
This morning, I am sitting at the cafe near Ander's school, waiting for my lunch-lady shift to begin, and I am thinking about how on the way to school I told him that I have always liked sourdough toast more than fancy clothes (and it does seem to be a choice some ladies must make), and how he chuckled at that, a big-boy chuckle from the backseat, his long legs bumping into the back of my seat.