Guess who was reheating Annie’s organic mac and cheese at 4:00 AM? That’s me. Because I have a sick kid who woke me up at about 3:00 AM because we couldn’t breathe through his nose because it was clogged with mucus. “Let’s go downstairs to the couch,” he suggested. We each put pillows under our arms and stumbled down the steps in the pitch darkness.
Each of us propped up on opposite ends of the couch. He coughed. I dozed, kind of. I noted with annoyance as thoughts of my business drifted through my mind.
At around 4:00 AM he said, “I think I’m kinda hungry.” I said, “Mm. Yeah.”
Fifteen minutes passed, and he said, ”I’m still hungry. For something like a carrot. I know we don’t have any.” He had asked me for a carrot earlier in the day.
“Let’s see what there is,” I said. An easy task, not getting off the couch in the middle of the night, but getting from the couch to kitchen is easy. The rooms are attached. Beren squinted in the bright light of the fridge.
“How about this?” he said, pulling out a small leftovers container of Annie’s organic mac and cheese. He had abandoned it in the afternoon, leaving it on a plate until the cheese darkened and dried a bit. I had considered eating it, to get rid of it, but decided Beren might want it later. Not necessarily at 4:00 AM, but you never can tell.
“It’s cold,” he said.
“I can heat it up,” I replied.
“You can?” he said with a sweet smile. He knows the kitchen closes after dinner, and I don’t heat up food after sunset.
“Yeah, I can,” I said.
After the Annie’s went down the hatch (yes, I know cheese and pasta are mucus-forming), I tried sleeping. I couldn’t. Beren coughed. And coughed. After our sleepy street’s pre-dawn rush hour began, I finally dozed off.
To be awakened at daybreak with a bright voice that said, “Momma, do you know where my sweatshirt is? The one with the stripes. I looked in the car and the truck.”
I briefly wondered at his early morning can-do and independence after a rough night. “Have you checked the sandbox?”
“Hmm!” Off he clopped to the sandbox. I dozed.
Bam! Bam! Left foot, right foot slammed into the back of the couch. “Momma! Mountain has a cut on his, um, his, um, the part of his arm that…”
“Shoulder?” I asked. The cat got into trouble again, I thought.
“Yes!” Beren replied and went back outside, slamming the door and locking himself out.
I heard a knocking on the door.
“What?!” I called from the couch.
“I can’t open the door!”
“I’d like to sleep for just fifteen more minutes!” I said grouchily. “And, don’t slam the door!”
This is the point at which I hear Jared get out of bed. And so the day began that never ended.