"I don't know, guys...it's already pretty late..."
I take a deep breath, slowly let it out, and close my eyes. "Alright. Go get your pajamas on, we will read ONE more chapter before..." I don't get to finish the sentence. Ethan and Isaac are already rushing upstairs like a herd of dehydrated, wild buffalo heading to a watering hole. I could complain, but isn't the point of raising your children to love reading and books and time together to instill joy and excitement for those very things? Yeah, yeah...well, all that love is crowding my school night schedule.
Tossing my "mommishness" to the side, I climb under Ethan's navy blue quilt, right in the middle of the double bed. I hear 2 toothbrushes from the bathroom down the hall moving at a feverish pitch, and I smile as I open the book in my lap to the earmarked page where we had stopped reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl the night before.
The herd rushes in and I brace for impact.
After a few minutes of arranging bodies, getting comfortable, and listening to a few fart jokes, I get the boys to settle. "Okay, guys, ONE chapter." I look down to my left, Isaac's face pressed into my arm, already starting to read the words to himself...I look to my right, Ethan has his eyes closed, hands folded up behind his head, smiling. So we begin.
Before I realize, these innocent tricksters have swiftly negotiated more chapter reading. I can't argue with the cuddling and laughs. I am easily swayed when it comes to book reading.
We felt sadness for Charlie because he was so hungry. We panicked when Augustus ruined the batch of chocolate by falling in. We laughed when Willy Wonka poked fun at various adults who had allowed their children to spoil. (We had some serious discussions about what "spoil" means.)
We also had to pause and explain to Isaac that no one turns into blueberries after eating blueberry pie, and there is no such thing as "juicing" someone after such an event. I am also pretty sure that despite our best attempts at a more logical explanation, Isaac still thinks whipped cream really does happen by whipping cows. We discussed snozzberries and Oompa Loompas--if they could exist. I watched as my analytical Isaac struggled to blend the abstract with the fantastical. And I relished in the processing and joy. Pure imagination...something I am so grateful to see blossom.
I slowly close the book. My eyes are tired, and I yawn. Still, I felt like I had been given a magical moment.
I look down to my left--Isaac is drooling on my arm, eyes closed, likely dreaming about "square candies that look round." I look down to my right--Ethan's back is to me, and he is very still; which, is a sure sign that he too, is in dreamland. I have no idea what time it is, and just a fraction of me doesn't care. I lay under the warm covers for a minute longer...listening to my sons sleep...
Listening to their dreams...