Sick and amazed

We’ve all enjoyed a lovely second round of the fall “return to school” plague, one that makes even the baby lose her voice. As I could hardly make myself heard tonight, I accepted Tess’ offer to read the bedtime story. I pulled her onto my lap and let the other kids crowd all around us, in picture-ogling proximity.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I assure you it was not a smooth, well-intoned, quasi flawless reading of “All the World”. The kids sat rapt, as one of their own did the impossible. Tess, who sobbed and fought (not with me but with the concepts) her way through her math homework this morning and had already impressed me, looked at me with a shy smile and said, “I bet I get a jelly bean for that in the morning!” Which around here is a parental high five for learning new things. And I gotta tell you, she is so right.

I am a book hoarder. I’d say I’m not proud, but I’d be lying. Books are treasures, and my stacks continue to grow. I hoped against hope that we’d get a reader, and thus far we have four! I don’t know how long it will last, but I can see in Tess’ shining eyes how astounded she is at this magic trick. Remy’s pretending not to be jealous, but he’s practicing his letters with intent on his brow. Her success with the story so inspired her that Tess offered to sing the kids their lullabies too – and proceeded to do a damn good job!

Bedtimes can be angst-ridden, with multiple crashing children whining and screaming before they totally fall into oblivion. But every once in a while, we get the kind we envisioned when we decided to have a big family – a bedtime full of snuggles, giggles, and love. And one of those can refill my cup at a single shot. I’ll be floating on air tonight, just like Tess.

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