We piled onto our big king sized bed.
Me full of annoyance and exhaustion and my sons' full of energy.
The evening was abundant with the typical push-pull of parenthood.
Brush your teeth. Get your jammies on. Stop bugging your brother. Put your pj's on. Don't suck on the brush...BRUSH your teeth. Leave your brother alone. Okay stop! Both of you! Brush your teeth! Where's your pajama top? Where are your pj bottoms?! What is going on with you guys?!
Nothing really out of the ordinary but enough disobedience and non-listening that I had told them no Wild Kratts!
So they climbed into our bed. The bed I share with my husband and the bed with which we seemed to have lately developed a routine of falling asleep in when he's away.
Lights were clicked off and darkness surrounded us.
"Do you want me to tell you a story?"
I had no idea what story I was going to tell them however. But when I opened my mouth it must have been the fact that I missed their Dad that this story sprang to mind...
"Once upon a time there were two best friends who were really hungry so they decided to check out this new restaurant..." ---
"Who were they? What are their names?" asks Adrian
I decided to go with the facts, "Erin and January were their names. -- When they got out of the car to go into the restaurant January tripped and fell on her face. She broke her sandal ----"
"Why do you break your sandal?! I want Aunt Erin to break her sandal!"
"Because that's not how the story goes bud. Aunt Erin helped me up though." In truth she actually didn't. I grabbed a hold of a metal bar that happened to be in front of me to assist me up from my terribly ungraceful fall.
"But I don't want you to fall!!!!"
I tried very difficultly to hold my patience. This was not how I envisioned my fairy tale story to go...
"Bud. Just relax and listen to the rest of the story ok? So. Mummy - I mean January falls and breaks her sandal. They walk into the restaurant and up walks a boy who January thinks is the most handsome boy in the whole world. And he thinks she is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen but she doesn't know this. In fact, for him it is love at first site ---"
"Who's him? Who's him??"
"His name is John. January was so embarrassed and thought he was very cute that she couldn't even talk to him. But then 6 months later she got a job at the same restaurant. She wondered if John worked there still but she didn't see him for weeks. Then one day someone tapped her on the shoulder..." I tapped Adrian on the shoulder..."And held out his hand to introduce himself, "Hi, I'm John." January knew that his name was John and when he saw her face he remembered her too. They became friends and then about 3 months later they started dating ---"
"Dating is when two people who really like each other get to know each other. They go to the movies and out to restaurants. They walk on beaches and in parks. They do lots of fun things together. January and John moved in together. Many years later he asked her to marry him around Valentine's Day on the floor of their tiny apartment. She said yes of-course. About a year and a half later they had the most beautiful wedding. Do you know what a wedding is?"
"What's a wedding?"
"It's when two people promise to love each other no matter what. Then they have a big party with all of their favourite people. They dance and talk and eat and drink wine ---"
"Wine? Why they drink wine?" This is my 3 year old speaking up who has been in the crook of my arm, quiet as a mouse since the beginning.
"That's just what adults do sometimes."
Adrian speaks up now, "I don't drink wine!"
"No but you're not an adult. Kids drink juice or water or pop."
"Pop?!" Weddings are clearly looking mighty fun to my boys right about now.
"So January and John got married and about a year and a half after that they had a beautiful baby boy that they named Adrian --- "
"Yes! I came first!" Adrian pumps his fist in the air like it was some kind of race that he won or something...
Which...technically speaking I suppose it was.
"And then 21 months later they had another beautiful boy that they named Finley."
"Mummy? Is that a true story?"
"Every bit of it baby doll." I hold his face in my hand in the grey evening light until he laid his head on my belly as my little Fin remained half asleep in the crook of my arm.
They quickly fell into slumber.
The next evening:
"Mummy...when I put my head on your tummy last night I could hear your heart. It went like this, "Ba-bump."
"You know what that was don't you? That was my heart saying, 'I love you.'"