How to Wake Up

I worked this past Saturday, while my wife worked Sunday. It’s not a bad arrangement, but my work lasted into the wee hours of the morning, leaving me more than a little tired for my day with the boys. We started with some playing and some chores, then lunch, and the big guy’s basketball game. Ice cream, afterwards, of course, and then I was ready for a nap.

“Football,” I said to the boys. “It’s the playoffs. I’m gonna stretch out and watch. Who’s with me?”

“Mm. No thanks.”

“No! Let’s play basketball!”

“Just a little football,” I said, “then basketball.”

“How about if we make a show while you nap?”

I yawned. “That would be great, but I’m not napping. I’m watching.”

“Can you cut the melon for me?”

A rather surprising request, but not outlandish. I cut the melon, then stretched out on the couch while they played, and soon was completely unconscious. I woke up in the fourth quarter to them saying it was time.

Out back, they’d laid an exercise mat on the lawn, with one end propped up. Next to it sat a little lap desk with a big glass pitcher of juice and carefully labeled cups. Beyond were our entire collection of coolers, set out in a semicircle.  While I poured out the juice, my oldest produced two paper plates that had been tied together.  “Open them.”

I pulled the string loose and discovered a cached of raisins and crackers and cheese.

“It’s for you,” he said.

I smiled. “Let’s share.”

The three of us sat on the mat and ate our snack and drank our juice. It was murky red and incredibly tangy, with pieces of kiwi, strawberry, and canteloupe floating in it. We mixed in some Sprite to take the kick off.

Afterward, my youngest put on a home-made mask and performed his stick spinning routine while his older brother drummed on the cooler. I stretched out on the mat to watch. The sunset started as they performed, coloring the clouds in shades of salmon. After the stick spinning, they switched, with the older one performing while the younger drummed.

All in all, it was the perfect way to wake up.

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