I can remember the first time I had to go to sleep. Mom said, “Steven, time to go to sleep.” I said, “But I don’t know how.” She said, “It’s real easy. Just go down to the end of tired and hang a left.” So I went down to the end of tired, and just out of curiosity I hung a right. My mother was there, and she said “I thought I told you to go to sleep.
~ Steven Wright
I have four children, and my wife carried each with relative ease. Ultrasounds weren’t necessary; we didn’t want to know what we were having, just that they were healthy. Only one child decided to make things difficult, my youngest boy Ethan. He had been breech for a while and the doctor wanted to take a look and make sure he had managed to swing himself around before his due date. So, my wife waddled into the darkened room, bared her once-again enormous belly, and let them poke around. She let out an audible sigh when the tech said things looked good, and then my son did the coolest thing: he turned toward the “camera” and blinked. I watched the monitor and literally gasped. There he was, my little boy, staring right at me, as if he knew I was there, perhaps a bit worried, letting me know things were hunky dory.
A week later, on May 16th, he kept us up late waiting for him. I laughed, knowing it wouldn’t be the last time.
His big sister couldn’t say Ethan too well, so she got to calling him “Beefan”. Scrawny enough to worry the pediatrician, we upgraded the name to Beefcake, an effort the convince him by word alone to start packing it on. He did good . . .
This morning, while he ran up and down a rain-drenched field playing soccer, my wife called wanting me to ask him what he craved for his birthday supper. So, when the period ended, I ran over to the bench and asked him. His answer? “Duh! Macaroni and cheese!” The staple of his diet, he can practically make it himself.
So tonight, we’ll eat macaroni and cheese, blow out some candles, play some Lego Star Wars (“We have to beat Darth Maul, Dad!”) and maybe watch a movie or two. Then he’ll head to bed, hang a right, and eventually drift to sleep, the wonder of life dripping from his chin . . .