I lay the blame directly at the feet of our offspring. Now that they’re 10 and 12 they really don’t fall asleep much before 10 p.m.
We try. Oh how we try to get them into bed, lights out in a full REM cycle by 9 p.m. but invariably we’re thwarted. One of them has a stomach ache, the other one is having trouble falling asleep because she’s been reading The Hunger Games and President Snow certainly lurks in her closet. Then there are curtain calls for the bathroom, food and water. You’d think we’d dropped them in the desert biosphere on Naked and Afraid.
By the time we can be entirely certain both girls are soundly asleep it’s close to midnight and we have one shared wall with the 10-year old who sleeps as lightly as the men of the Night Watch who are dedicated to holding The Wall against the Wildlings on Game of Thrones.
All of this to say we try to stay awake long enough to make love like silent film stars. Vewwy vewwy quietly.
Cut to: Last night. Midnight. Exhausted as we were, we were not going down (so to speak) without a fight. We’d just begun certain preliminary gestures toward one another. Clothes were shucked, body parts beginning to mingle like awkward teenagers at an after-school dance when the distinct sound of padding feet made us freeze.
I imagine in my mind’s eye the fresco we might have made had we been captured thusly, my hands cupping his bottom, his hands grasping my breasts, both our eyes bulging and mouths hanging open.
We leapt away from one another as if we’d been electrocuted the instant we heard a firm KNOCK on our door. “No!” I yelled in mild hysteria. Then we lay there, silent as Shia LaBeouf during his #I’mNotFamousAnymore performance art piece, as we listened to the now-dejected sound of those very same feet padding back from whence they came.
Henry was still game to continue, but I just couldn’t, in good conscience, let those dejected feet lie. Sighing I kissed my husband, then rolled out of bed off to my 10-year old’s room to discover what was bothering her.
At first I was annoyed when I saw the tears flowing down my daughter’s face. But then that whole maternal empathy thing kicked in and I fell asleep holding my girl instead of my man.
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