By the time I got back, the house was quiet. Megan had gone home earlier; the rest of the girls, I assumed, had gone to bed.
I had a glass of water, turned off some lights, and set the house alarm. The door beeps whenever it is opened, it beeps again when it is closed, and it beeps 5 times in quick succession when the alarm is set—so if Tammy didn’t hear me come in I know she heard the alarm being set. Still I was quiet as I walked back towards our bedroom. I knew the girls would be sleeping with Tammy on our bed, so I entered the room as softly as possible.
I was surprised to see that Tammy was passed out as well as the girls. Jaida was at the foot of the bed; Sophie was settled in between Malia and Tammy.
I watched silently for a while—amazed.
I have always loved watching, with both admiration and envy, my babies sleep so peacefully. I wonder what they are dreaming about. I can only imagine most of the time.
Megan often jumps in her sleep. So, I asked her once. “I dream about gymnastics,” she said. That made sense. She says that sometimes in the process of doing aerials in her dreams she wakes herself up. “And those around you,” I add.
With Jaida, it would be a safe bet to assume she dreams about food. Or eating.
Malia probably dreams about delivering her Presidential inaugural address or coming in first place in “Battle of the Books” or any of a number of academic endeavors. Or, another safe wager would be that she doesn’t dream about food.
Sophie is easy to figure out, she talks in her sleep. When she is not saying Megan’s name she is quarreling with, or telling on, Jaida.
But right now no one is dreaming about anything.
I walk around to Tammy’s side of the bed to kiss her goodnight. As I get closer I smell Bath and Bodyworks spray. Sophie had been spraying it around the bathroom and on herself. When I reach Tammy she lifts her head and winks as she gestures to our babies. Immediately, I know what is going on.
“Oh, my gosh,” I say, genuinely surprised, “what a bunch of little fakers.”
Sophie jumps up, “Boo!” Malia and Jaida both pop up laughing because they just faked me out.
I praise them for actually duping me. For years we have played this game where whoever is home pretends they are sleeping when someone walks in the door. However, sometimes they have a hard time maintaining the farce; giving their selves away by smiling or giggling.
Soon they are all sitting up in bed chatting and giggling. Tammy catches me in the moment and says she enjoys my smile and that she and the girls missed me while I was at the gym.
Soon they are all sitting up in bed chatting away.
Sophie is really into Jaida’s story. She seems to be examining every little gesture while Jaida speaks. Sophie reaches over her comforter and stretches out to give Jaida an affectionate pat on the back. After a while she leans across again, a little further this time, and plants a gentle kiss on Jaida’s cheek. Shortly after, Malia leans over to Tammy and gives her a hug and a kiss.
My eyes well up. I love moments like this.
Sophie sees me and almost as if on cue crawls over her mommy to give me a hug. But, of course it’s not just any hug. She holds me tighter and longer than normal. Before she lets go she kisses my cheek.
Sophie lets go and notices the back of my head is still sweaty, says so, and says “daddy, come on I will take you to the shower ok?”
Always being one who can take a hint, I tell her that I will
“It’s ok baby, you need to go to bed, and I need a drink of water anyway,” my throat is suddenly dry. Sophie won’t have it. She scoots off the bed and takes my hand, directing my to the kitchen as if I didn’t know my way around.
She waited in the kitchen as I had two glasses of water and then walked me back to the room.
I placed her back on the bed. I said goodnight to her and kissed her. Malia asked if I wanted to sleep on my bed. I said no, thanked her, and said goodnight to her and Jaida.
Before, I walk back out of the room I tell my family I love them and say goodnight again.
Jaida says, “what are we having for breakfast?”
A safe bet, without a doubt.