KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Angels in the Morning

Neil (Anakin) and Jared (Robin)6:40 am: Time to wake Neil, 11. This takes some doing because he always has trouble getting to sleep in the first place. A gentle shake, shake. Nothing. "Neil! School day. Time to get up," said sotto voce, because he shares a bedroom with Jared, 4. Jared's allowed to sleep until he's ready to get up, which is usually between 8 and 8:30, because he's always home with me unless it's time for preschool, which runs 12 to 2:30 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

6:50 am: A lot more of the shaking and whispering later, Neil stumbles into the kitchen and sits down. He stuffs his vitamin gummies into his mouth, his eyes still closed. He swallows, and his eyelids drag themselves open long enough for him to look at me with liquid-blue puppy eyes while he says, "Mommy, can I have a snuggle?" He drapes his long, bony body across my lap and tucks his face against my neck, so soft and warm and trusting. I tell him how, of my three children, he was the one at whose birth I felt the physical sensation of the world tilting on its axis, and how I now take that to mean that he will change the world, maybe by inventing something amazing, maybe by being kind and gentle.

7:20 am: Finally having finished his breakfast, Neil stumbles off to dress for school, while I read my e-mail.

7:40 am: His backpack waiting near the steps down to the front door, Neil comes over for one last snuggle, fortification for a day at school. A few minutes later, a clock seems to sound an alarm in his head, and he straightens, says, "Have a good day, Mommy," and heads for the landing to watch out the front-door window for his school bus.

8:15 am: I hear fast footfalls as Jared, after awakening, runs from the bedroom and straight to me at the computer. Neil's bus has come and gone. Jared throws his solid little body at me, tucking his head and his arms into my embrace. He nuzzles me as I kiss the soft, sweet-smelling back of his neck. A few moments later, he lifts his head to kiss my cheek and throw his arms around my neck. Then, all preschooler urgency, Jared breaks off our hug and trots to the living room, picking up the blanket Neil left behind. He throws himself into an overstuffed chair and buries himself in the blanket. "Mommy, can I see cartoons?" I agree, after rubbing his soft baby belly. Weekdays, he gets a little TV while he eats breakfast; he'll play later.



I know that several times during the day, Jared will suddenly stop what he's doing and run up to say something like "Mommy, I love you," and hug and kiss me. And I will track him down several other times to return the favor.

I know that when Neil comes home from school, he'll zoom in for a quick hug and a recital of the days' events before he heads off for the computer/Game Boy/PlayStation time he's allowed before homework.

And I know that I will happily do it all again tomorrow, especially for the chance to hold soft boy bodies and soft boy hearts. I cannot resist hugs from my children. Their skin is so smooth and warm and their enjoyment of affection is so visceral.


5 comments:

erinberry said...

I'm sure your boys look forward to each day with you, too :)

CelebrateVida said...

A gorgeous post.

My baby's about to turn 8, and she's getting less squishy every day. Big Girl's all bones and angles, and only wants snuggles when she's having a hard day.

Over time our intimacy seems to get more verbal and less physical, though I believe the mutual affection is no less real. With tweendom quickly approaching, can I hope for much more time?

Meg

Katharine said...

Meg, just keep offering hugs and you'll keep getting them back—as long as Big Girl's friends aren't around to see. ;-)

Sara Wilson, fellow editor and mom said...

Thanks for the lovely picture of your day, and for making it possible to imagine your boys in your arms. They're so much like my own son, who's approaching 4. Lucas is very kissy, touchy, huggy and full of loving words for me. He greeted me the other morning with, "Goodmorning, Beautiful!"

Katharine said...

Hi, Sara. What a lovely thing for Lucas to say! Hug him as often as you can, because babies grow up fast. My oldest, Becky, is nearly 23 and living on her own. She comes by to visit occasionally, but I sure would enjoy at least one hug from her every day. She's amazing.

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