I'm downstairs, trying to brush my teeth. I've had the longest day ever and just want to go to sleep. Deep breath. Patience. I dash upstairs wiping spit on the back of my hand.
What is it?? I say. Trying to be calm.
Mom!! It's monster eyes!! He says, pointing to the ceiling above his bed.
No. No it's not. Please don't scream like that again.
Will you check on me in five minutes? he says, sleepy eyes huge and brown.
Yes, I say, I always do.
I make some tea.
I hear him yelling again.
I go into his room. Standing at the side of his bunk bed. Yes? I say.
I missed you today. Do I have to go to another meeting tomorrow?
No, I say, I'm just here.
Two things mom.
Number one. Can you tell me, are we going to have a good day tomorrow?
Yes. I think so, I say.
What's the second thing I say, closing my eyes, willing myself to hold onto my sanity.
Mom. He sighs, his tired hand touching my hair. You have such a nice head. And your head is so clever, and you do such nice good clever things with your head and...I love you.
And I melt.
I love you too.