“Mommy, do you want some orange juice?”
I crack one eye open and squint blearily at the small figure beside my bed.
“We don’t have any.”
“But mommy we made some, would you like to try a glass of orange juice.”
“Sure honey, leave it on the bureau for me.”
I drift back to sleep for 5, maybe 10 minutes.
“Mommy, mommy, are you going to drink your orange juice now?”
Once more I squint and sure enough, there is a purple plastic cup sitting there with some kind of liquid in it.
“Okay, I’m getting up. I’ll drink it before I shower.”
I hear running footsteps disappear down the hall and then a voice, “She said she was gonna drink it before she showers.”
I roll out of bed, eying the glass suspiciously. It’s sticky. But it smells like oranges. I take a cautious sip and then quickly swallow the rest. It’s good. Apparently while I sleep, my children teach themselves how to make fresh squeezed orange juice. (They halved the oranges with a table knife since the sharp knives are off limits. How adorable.) Maybe if I sleep long enough they’ll figure out how to make dinner.
The Boy emerges from the bathroom. His mouth twitches as he struggles to hold back a grin, the sides of his cheeks dimple. “Mommy, while daddy was brushing my teeth in the bathroom I made a bunch of stinky farts.”
He allows himself to break into a smile now, but I love to watch the struggle on his face. It is a new thing, this attempt to keep a straight face while telling a story. I wonder why he’s now aware of the need to dissemble sometimes. Why does he try so hard to keep his emotions from showing. Why do they do that? Did I teach him? It makes me a bit sad.
The Baby stirs in the stroller where she’s fallen asleep. I pick her up to carry her to bed. She snuggles into my shoulder and goes back to sleep almost instantly. She feels so light. On the way past the bathroom I stop for a while and look at her in the mirror. I try to memorize the way her small body is molded to my shoulder, the softness of her sleeping face, the way she feels and smells. I try to experience it all, right now, to be nowhere but here, this moment, holding my sleeping child and feeling her belly rise and fall against my chest.