I read with ezra each night at bedtime. as in, he reads his book, I read mine. gone are the days of reading out loud. have I told you? one of my greatest joys in life has been the reading of roald dahl books out loud to my children. a few months ago, I begged ezra to let me read danny the champion of the world out loud to him one last time. reluctantly, he agreed. and then, I should add, barely tolerated the nightly reading. so, that was that. the last time, the very very last time and now our reading together looks completely different but that's okay. I'll take what I can get.
after our twenty minutes or so of silent reading (which I have actually grown to love very much), he tossed his book in the general direction of the nightstand and turned to sleep on his left side, just like he always does. and then I turned out the light, said the prayers and sang the two favorite songs, just like I always do. and then, usually, I am quick to get up and out of there. because, you know. netflix. big green couch. adult quiet time. I am ashamed at how quick I am to sing those two songs and slip out of the room. I am ashamed but I am still quick.
but tonight, as I felt myself rushing through the prayer, the two favorite songs, I felt that wistful thing, that bittersweet thing, that thing that sometimes overtakes me and I lay there for a little while and I willed myself to memorize every detail. the deep green glow of the alien nightlight, arm slung over a dingy sock monkey, slight curve of a still-small shoulder, the hum and hiss of the humidifier, the sound of his breathing. sandy hair in perfect waves, pencil-drawn waves.
as if I can hold on to any of this, as if any of us can hold on to any of what happens to us. and I wondered how many times my own mother tried to memorize details like these, if she was able to hold onto any of them, if she felt the way I did tonight. I would give anything to know. but I won't know, I can't know. and it's not okay, it will never be okay but the wondering is all I have. the imagining is all that's left and I'll take what I can get.