The other night I laid down with you while you fell asleep. As I covered you up and took my place on the pillow beside you, there was an instant change. You went from being half awake to bursting with life, and energy, and words. You kept talking and talking, sometimes about something in the room, sometimes a quote from your favorite movie. As I lay there, warm and tired, your words fade into the background.
Moments later, something startled me and I realized I had dozed off. I also realized that you were still talking. Only now you were on your side, facing me with your head propped up by one hand, just talking away.
I never knew it started so young, and I started to laugh.
When your Mom and I first got married, I discovered that her brain and communicative functions became increasingly active as soon as she was lying down. Even now there are days when we fall in to bed, exhausted from a grueling day of work, children, schedules, and commitments. And yet, as soon as we lay down, your Mother turns on her side, and wants to know my opinion on immigration, or share thoughts about how to grow our relationship, or the best strategy for planning for your future. In the stillness and quiet of the night, she is alive with hopes and dreams and to-do lists, and friendly banter, while I do my best to emit very thoughtful and caring grunts to show I am still engaged. After a while, I pretend to reach up to the top of her head, and feel around for the “off” switch. She says, “ok….I’m done” and we drift off to sleep.
I don’t understand this behavior, as it is obviously the sign of a higher functioning species than me. And I don’t know if this is true of all women, I only know that when I share this observation, it is usually met with agreeing nods and smiles.
So I kiss your forehead and tell you to lie back down. Turning over, I pretend to go back to sleep. You continue talking to yourself for a few minutes, and then, having spoken enough words for the day, you fall asleep.
When I see you, Malina, I see your Mother in so many ways, and the other night was yet another reminder.
So keep talking honey, and I’ll do my best to always keep listening.