Last night, after working a thirteen-hour day, I tucked myself in bed between my lab/newfie and lab/pitbull. My 22-year-old daughter had been kind enough to look after my nine-year-old son for the evening and had just gone home. “Vinny” was showered and in his pajamas, but was suffering from a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him bring his computer game to bed. It was past his bed time.
“You said we could read a bedtime story,” he yelled.
“But you were playing Minecraft,” I said. “And now it’s time for bed. How about a raincheck?”
“What’s a raincheck?”
“It means I’ll make good on the deal tomorrow night.”
He came in my room and gave me a big hug. “OK.”
I started playing Words with Friends, so happy to see the day come to an end. Then I heard Vinny crying from his bedroom.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“Because I really want a bedtime story tonight.”
I sighed and thought of my father. Not once during my childhood did I ever get a bedtime story. My brother and I were told “go to bed.” We tucked our selves in. My father blared music, threw parties, had women over. Our childhood was chaotic at best. But how can I listen to those sniffles and not be moved?
“Pick out a book!”
Vinny brings in The Five Chinese Brothers, one of my all-time favorites.
I am not happy. But I tear up the raincheck and read him the book. After we finish, he kisses me. He says, Thank You. He tells me Good Night. I am too tired to play Words with Friends. I tell myself this is Love.