A♥ and I went out to dinner with my mom and dad Saturday night. We wanted to bring the boys but Alphonse wasn’t feeling too happy and sociable of late. We had quick hair pulling episodes twice last week, perhaps brought about by a combination of lack of sleep and emotional lability. Thus, we thought it more prudent to let him sleep early to make up for all his early mornings this past week.
Because of traffic and long queues at almost all the good restaurants (it was payday weekend), we got home nearly at midnight. The minute we walked into our bedroom, however, we were met by Alphonse standing in wait for us. We knew from regular reports from home via sms that Alphonse had gone to bed at 11pm so we were expecting to see his still form on his bed. For some reason, however, he sensed that we were home and woke up. When he saw us, he started laughing aloud and jumping in glee. As happy as we were to be met with such a warm welcome, we also knew that his sudden awakening meant he would not be sleeping again any time soon.
Which just shows that as experienced as we are with Alphonse, we really don’t know what he will do or think of next.
We hunkered down for a long night, forcing ourselves to stay awake despite the late hour. Alphonse was hyperactive and loud; despite repeated attempts to get him to lie down on his bed, he kept standing up and jumping. Each time we coaxed him to bed, he would indulge us for a few seconds, pepper us with kisses, then abruptly stand up again.
I asked his dad to leave the room for a while to give Alphonse time to quiet down. With A♥out of the room, there was just Alex, Alphonse and me. After some gentle coaxing, Alphonse willingly clambered into bed and cuddled with me. Finally, a glimmer of sleep.
So at one in the morning, I had an eighteen-year-old man-child in my arms, his head on my bosom, his arms around my waist. I wondered how much longer I will have to live with nights like this and I realized that I have a lifetime of this to look forward to. Of the billions of people in this planet, God entrusted this one special soul to us, one who will always need our help, even in just getting to sleep. It’s a humbling realization.
As I sang him lullabies, Alphonse made low purring sounds like a little cat. A short while later, they turned into snores. A♥ went back to our bed and Alphonse, sensing his dad’s return, turned over to his dad’s side, draping his huge arms and legs over him. By then, Alex had also fallen asleep on a mattress at the foot of our bed.
We slept together, a family under one roof, in one room. Our tummies were full, our hearts even fuller.