He begs me to stay up late, and I pretend like the half hour I will give him is a big deal. He negotiates, asking for more chapters read in addition to the late bedtime. I give in and it is a relief not to have to be the bad guy.
He has that ring of chapped skin just under his smile. He refuses intervention. His eyes sparkle and his little voice is a constant, asking, prodding, arguing, laughing…
We end up reading two long chapters. He leans against my arm, his breath soft. I cover him up with a very specific ritual of blankets. I smooth his hair and tell him how much I love him. He knows, he says. I love you too.
I’m glad I read the extra chapters.
There is a woman that I work with that doesn’t like me anymore. When I first started at my job 4 years ago, we got along fine and were even known to joke around with each other. Circumstances happened and I spilled a little too much information about my personal life with the rest of the office staff. *Lesson One*. Everyone else seemed to take it in stride, but this one woman had VERY! STRONG! FEELINGS! about my life and what I should and shouldn’t do. I didn’t take her advice, though I appreciated her concern. One day she even pulled up a chair right next to me and had a serious talk with me about how she cared about me and that’s why she was offering up her concern. As I said, I did not take her advice on what to do with my life and actually learned from Lesson One and stopped talking about my personal life at work. My other officemates seemed fine but this woman stopped talking to me in all but the blandest, most office friendly way. No more joking around, no more gathering around the cubicle to chat. She goes out of her way to avoid me.
And it bothers the hell out of me! I can’t STAND it when people don’t like me, and immediately start judging myself. I try hard to do everything and anything that could change that person’s opinion of me. I ask the woman questions about her family, say witty things, try and join the gang at her cubicle…nothin’. I am just ITCHING from the fact that she doesn’t seem to like me anymore. I know that not everyone likes everyone else, but they should all like ME!
*Lesson Two* I spend way too much time worrying about what other people think. But I just want her to like me, really, really like me!!
The little voice rips me from my sleep, and not even fully concious I stumble out of bed and across the hall. He is sitting up, hair mussed and covers in a pool at his feet.
“Mommy, I saw a bug.”
I look for a bug. There isn’t one, though in my current state I have to admit that I may not notice if a hippo was in his room. I search the floor in vain, sweeping my fingers across the floor. There is nothing.
“I think it went under the rug,” he says, watching me.
I lift up the rug and once again, there is nothing.
“There’s nothing there, buddy.”
“Well, maybe it crawled over there somewhere.”
I refuse to search for bugs in the middle of the night. I look halfheartedly around the room and still see nothing. He is wide awake, and begins to talk about the story that we had read before he went to sleep. I put up my hand, blink in the nightlight’s glow.
“You need to go back to sleep. Here, I’ll cover you up.”
I fix his blankets, which is a very deliberate and important job. He grins at me from the nest of covers.
I stumble back to bed. I am fully aware that there was no bug, that he just wanted to make sure I was still there and he wanted someone to fix his covers. In an hour, we will be up for the day. I try and fall back asleep. Across the hall, I hear him singing softly to himself. The morning comes too soon.