Quinn has always been one to entertain himself quite easily. He is super patient and relatively pokey with most things. In all those years of volleyball and long car rides he never once asked, “Is it almost over?” or “Are we there yet?” Tonight, as I tucked him into bed, he asked, finally, “How much longer?”
I have no idea why Easter is his favorite holiday. We aren’t remotely religious. He does not like candy. He asked, just the other day, if the Bible was a book about the presidents. Still, Easter, is his favorite day. Not getting to go find his basket at my mom and dad’s next weekend is starting to weigh on him. There are sadder things, much sadder things, but something about that quiet ask … how much longer … it just got to me.
It wasn’t a whine or a complaint. Just words from a boy whose world went from busy and structured to one of not knowing. He might be starting to sense the worry in the house… the close quarters between us, the fear of how we will pay for bills, the final projects that are stressing his siblings out… the sudden absence of routine, the not knowing if we will get to see his uncle get married this summer or take his first plane ride to visit his older brother. So many things to wonder about and no adults with helpful answers …
He said, as I started to close his bedroom door, “I would like to get a teddy bear in the shape and size of you so that it cuddled me all night long.”
Nine years old. What world have we brought you into? Each morning I watch the finches eat the seeds from the bird feeder that I hung on the Japanese maple. It drives both Sean and the dog crazy, the bird shit all over the deck and the constant whimpering of the dog who is always too slow to catch them, but I wake up just to witness the start to their day. There is always, always, a red finch waiting for me. Somehow, knowing that those song birds found the food, that they intuitively know where to land, has brought me great comfort.
Maybe tomorrow we will watch them together.