Both Sides of BedtimeWhit Honea
Morning is a game they play. It is the crossroads of grumpy and hijinks, and there are shoes to be tied, teeth to be brushed, and a number of things that really should have been done the night before. It is the kind of chaos that lends itself to immediate cursing and a lifetime of fond, sweet memories. It starts too early and ends on a dime.
Sometimes there are too many metaphors to bother.
Bedtime is a gamble. It is a spin of the wheel, a ball bumbling over colors, numbers, and so many hopes of days ahead and those we have forgotten. It flirts with sudden snores and cries for cups of water. It skips across stories told, dreams unfolding, and sweet kisses that wish goodnight. We make our bets accordingly and our beds are slightly less so.
It is late. The hallway is empty save the echoes of wonder and apathy—it is joy and they do not care who knows it. Their imagination is held within four flat walls and falling shades of darkness, but it sparkles in the laughter and rolls forever boundless. They are down the hall, and they are a world away. I am in the living room, content and fat and lazy.
Tonight there was an echo, long after my footsteps faded, of whispered words that inspired them to action—quiet conversations built upon a rising crescendo until what was once tucked in became undone, and the only things covered were sheets by shadows and the soft undersides of bouncing feet.
I stood in the doorway with the night behind me and their glow contagious. Their eyes were bright and turned upward at the corners. I stood there in the doorway with my intentions quickly melting, and I watched them make the moments they will remember always.
My goodnight fell somewhere between the doorframe and the building sound of fresh made memories.
Then there is a blink, and suddenly the boys are softly sleeping, stuck between mornings and the shadow of them, and the world is quiet save the sound of frogs in the stream outside. The stream was dry just days ago and the frogs were dehydrated and forgotten like so many sea-monkeys on the cusp of greatness—covered in leaves, dust, warts and all. Now the frogs are awake and alive and they want us to know it.
We know. We know.
The boys slumber and the world spins madly on. Their snores are a bass line beneath the songs of the night, and my keyboard types out melodies like a broken-down piano. Every sound is clear and haunting, every breath a minor chord. The notes between are soft and silent. They linger until the moon fades, then the sounds are soon to follow.
Morning is a game they play. They will win every single time.
Photo Credit: Morgue File
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).