The Meaning of...

A couple of nights ago, I was watching my children solo. As much as I
claim to be progressive, this is still a relatively rare phenomenon. A
few times a month for a few hours. I can blame work, but that is
ultimately me anyway.

We played hard as we frequently do with these nights to ourselves.
Every (soft) ball in the house was hucked back and forth down the hallway.
Eventually, my little girl became tired. Somewhere between infant and
toddler, she made it clear through fussy outbursts she was ready for

So I explained to my three-year-old son if he would give me some time
to get her down, we could play together, just me and him. He agreed to
wait and I took her to their room.

After placing her on her bed, I broke out my old standby of singing to
calm her down. I've sung more since the births of my children than in
all the years leading up to them. In honesty, I likely get more
enjoyment out of it than they do. My son hasn't acted interested for a
long time now. It is a tradition, however, I started with him I will
hold onto as long as either will hear me.

But before I can get through the second verse of the first song, I'm
interrupted by a creak behind me. It's my son at the side of the bed.
Astonished and disappointed, I ask him to return to the living room.

He does, but it's too late; She's now awake and going strong. We all
come out of the bedroom and hang out for another hour or so before they
both eventually fade.

Then, tonight, I again have the kids. We had a similar evening, going
nuts this time with race cars, sunglasses, necklaces, and assorted tot
treasures stowed in plastic bins.

This night, however, both children are a little feistier and demanding
individual attention. As it gets later, I catch myself neglecting my
daughter in order to finish a track for her brother. When she takes to
crying, I get the hint and pick her up.

I again tell my son I'm taking her to bed. No discussion this time. He
nods and continues to play with his half-assembled raceway.

This time, I get my fix and sing several ballads (or parts thereof)
while holding her tightly. As I finish "Here Comes The Sun," she nods
off completely.

I get up, noticing silence from the living room. When I open the door,
I have to keep myself from stepping on my little boy. He had fallen
asleep with his head nestled in the crack of the door I had left,
apparently listening to my singing. I guess he didn't want to upset me
by coming in.

I pick him up, carry him to the couch, and hug him.