Saturday Morning Fever with the Family
I remember a time when Friday night lasted till dawn and the actual day part of Saturday didn't get going until sometime in the afternoon. I'd open my eyes and see, half a pillow away, the face of an adorable man I'd spent untold hours kissing the night before. Sometimes I'd look at the clock -- only 11:30! -- and sink back into unconsciousness. Sometimes I'd slide across the pillow and launch Friday night all over again.
Not anymore. Here's how Saturday goes nowadays:
12:25 a.m. Friday night still bleeds into Saturday for my husband, Haywood, and me, but now it's because of our son Sam -- the result of all that kissing 15 years ago -- whose busy social life has turned us into a late-night valet service. Luckily, Saturday is the one day we don't have school or church, so we can switch off the phones (the better to ignore all the 15-year-old girl callers) and settle in for nine straight hours of peace and quiet.
5:17 a.m. Well, not quite: In three-part harmony, Haywood is snoring, the robins outside our window are singing, and two young Jedi fighters -- Sam's brothers, Henry, 10, and Joe, 8 -- are training for a light-saber battle just outside our bedroom door. I roll over and grab my sleep mask (the black sash from Henry's ninja costume) and wrap it mummy style across my eyes. For good measure, I slam a pillow over my head.
7:22 a.m. Fending off storm troopers gives Joe and Henry an appetite. "Why not cook some eggs and toast?" they think in that primordial way of children with no skills, no training, and no sense that skills and training would come in handy. I hear them banging around dimly, but I play possum. Haywood, a schoolteacher, leaves for work before 7 most mornings; it's his turn to feed them.
7:32 a.m. An argument is being conducted in stage whispers beside my bed: "She's going to get really mad when you tell her about the fire."
"Joe, it wasn't a fire!"
"So why is the smoke alarm going off?"
"The smoke alarm always goes off when you turn on the toaster."
"She's going to get really mad when you tell her about it." Henry's right. We live in a house with appliances that haven't been deep cleaned since the Reagan Administration, and the smoke alarm in our kitchen goes off almost every day.
7:33 a.m. I sit up, pushing aside pillows and Halloween gear. I say, "Where's Dad?"
"I think he's playing golf," Joe says.
I consider killing my husband.
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