I lay in his bed wishing him to sleep. He sat up beside me chatting happily. Shh I said it is time to go to sleep. Your sister is sleeping. Please lie down. Eventually he would snuggle in bed next to me. For awhile. Then he was sitting up again, happy now that the drugs had taken the edge off of his fever.
Eventually I fell asleep. He did too. When I woke up there was morning light coming through the curtains. I climbed over him carefully and made my way back to my own bed. I grunted at the husband when he told me it was 5:30 am and then I fell asleep.
I had been up late that night. It was 11:30pm by the time my friend's car dropped me at my door. Way past my bedtime. But worth it.
Before I drifted off to sleep listening to the sounds outside my window the boy started to stir. He was awake and unhappy. A day that had started for me at 5 am that morning was now going to last a few hours more.
Finally dressed after a morning in my pajamas and the kids in theirs, the girl and I headed out for some time alone. I was tired and cranky, but determined that she and I would enjoy our time together.
At the market we talked to friends and she gobbled down strawberries right from the basket, handing me the stems from her seat in the stroller. I watched her sit with three other girls while the kind market volunteer showed them science experiments. Sitting there the girl looked old and young to me at the same time.
We sat at a round metal table eating vegetable pad Thai from a styrofoam container. She ate more strawberries sitting in the stroller, watching a gull watch her.
They chased each other around the small backyard. She was so happy to be with her friend. I was too tired to be standing there holding a plate of food and making small talk with strangers. I did it anyway.
More people arrived and she was lost in the crush of her friend's other friends. She called to him to play with her but he didn't. So she just called louder.
The tiredness of the day overwhelmed me and I knew it was time to go. I said my goodbyes. She didn't want to leave but when I offered her one of the cookies put out for dessert she happily climbed in the stroller. We headed for home.