Last night I took William to basketball practice. It was like watching little boys at the playground. They have fun. They all want to win. They push each other around, tease and taunt and laugh at bad shots and holler when they hit a good one. William wears purple laces in his shoes now…it is his favorite color. He comes off the court, cheeks pinkened and hair tousled, and I want to grab him and hug him and press my nose to his crown to breathe in his little boy smell…he still has that little boy smell. But I know better. I wait until we’re outside, and he doesn’t mind then. On the drive home we talk about practice, and knockout…last night he won knockout.
He asked me to tuck him in. In just a couple weeks he’ll be ten years old. I am in no hurry for the tuck-ins to stop. I walked into his room and he was nearly asleep. His eyes closed, and he smiled and whispered goodnight, and I love you Mom, and I think he was probably asleep before I left the room.
Later that night I sat on the couch, under the blanket and listened to the rain falling. It seemed like it had been a long time since it had rained, but maybe not. Poppy was nearly on top of me. She likes to sit as close to me as possible. In fact she would be right in my lap if I allowed it. Which I sometimes do. I like that about her–her closeness. She heard the clicking of the phony ipad keyboard and pricked up her head. She gave me a look as if asking “how long is that clicking going to go on lady?” I smiled at her and she put her head back down. Then she resumed the snoring. I love her.
Before I went to bed, I went to check on them all. Henry lay curled in a ball, uncovered. Every night he appears this way. Either that, or he’s hanging halfway off the bed. I thought he must be freezing, so I covered him up. William was awake, and he commented on Henry’s grunting. So I told William the story of the first few days of his life, and how I slept next to him each night, and how loud and grunty he was. So loud and grunty in fact, that I had to move him into his own room so I could sleep. He smiled and closed his eyes. He likes to hear stories of when he was littler. He said “night night Mom” and as I walked out of their room, I looked back at those boys. In the soft glow of a night light, they can look just like angels.