I could hear you hop and slide down the stairs before I saw you. It was 11:00 pm and you had been in bed awhile, supposedly sleeping. You slipped into the room where I was working on work, the laptop in my lap and Tyson at my side. "Hi, mom. Whatcha doing?" you spoke as you quietly settled onto the floor in front of the dog with your old comforter wrapped tightly around you, your bare feet sticking out of the bottom.
After a few minutes of questioning, I realized you weren't sleepy and weren't ready to head back upstairs yet. I let you chit chat while I shut down the computer, listening to you analyze Tyson's feet, give him some sweet talk and wonder about the bumps under his skin. The conversation wasn't much back and forth, you only needed to be talking out loud it seemed to avoid the restlessness that had driven you out of bed. As I shut down the computer, I listened to your voice--deeper today than yesterday. I noticed your legs and how short the camouflage pj bottoms were getting on your legs. I saw your face--your blue eyes not hidden behind your glasses at this late hour and the almost shy way you looked at me while you talked.
You smelled the banana bread that I had made earlier that was cooling in the kitchen and you asked for a piece. We went to cut a slice and you jumped up on the stool, your face and shoulders framed by the light overhead. The rest of the room was dark and we smiled at each other over the lovely warmth of the bread.
As I said goodnight to you later by your bed, I laughed at how you had wrapped yourself in the comforter like a burrito all tight and warm. It didn't seem like that many days ago when you were a preemie baby, wrapped tight in a much smaller baby blanket burrito with your blue eyes peeking out at me over the edge. Now you have an alarm clock by your bed and don't sleep with stuffed animals. You still let me hug and kiss you, but I wonder how long it will be before that becomes uncool. So last night, I hugged you a few seconds longer.
Thinking on it later, I realized that I was watching a boy become a man. That your simple joy in being with me will change as you grow older. That the specialness of a mom and her boy sitting together is something to grab onto with both hands.
My heart is full thinking of us.