Last night, 2100
“Mammy?” he calls in from his room.
For fifty minutes I’ve been lying down shoving a boob in his sister’s face trying to get her to sleep; now she’s just about drifting off and he expects to hold a conversation through the wall with me.
“I’ll be there in a sec” I stage-whisper through gritted teeth.
“Did you know Martin McGuinness died?” he calls.
“Yes!” I hiss back in disbelief, not at the famed Republican politician’s death but at how he thinks this is a good time for this conversation.
“Yeah two weeks ago Mammy” he calls back again.
Last night, 2115
I creep out of my room and am four steps down the stairs when he calls me: “Mammy come here”
“What is it love?”
“Can I show you a magic trick?”
GO TO JAYSIS SLEEP CHILD.
This isn’t unusual behaviour but today is a big day for him and I think he’s a bit over excited. It’s his very first non-family sleepover, and it’s not even just in a friends house; it’s with the Beaver Scouts and it’s happening in the den in preparation for later camping trips.
Last week I decided that he deserved better than the manky old sleeping bag in the attic that has frequented festivals and dusty floors for about 15 years now. I mentioned in passing I’d ordered a kid size new one for him. Each day he enquired as to its whereabouts, its colour, what would we do if we didn’t arrive…
It arrived. He rolled it out and he had a go in it on the living room floor. He pretended to be a mummy, scared his brother, wouldn’t let him have a go of it and it all ended in tears, predictably. Then we spent 15 minutes trying to get it back into the bag it came in.
He has been trailing round the house after me, listing the cereals they’re going to get to choose from on saturday morning. He has mused on what ‘mascot’ he’s going to bring. FYI, I think he’s chosen Icy.
So that’s it. My biggest boy is going out into the world, without an auntie or grandparent there to creep into in the middle of the night. Surrounded by his peers; some of who will be clutching their soft toys and wishing they could sleep so the night would pass quickly, some of who will be bigger and braver and giddy. Hand on heart I’m not sure where he’ll fall on the spectrum.
One thing is for sure; I’ll be sleeping with the car keys under the pillow ready to spring and get him if he needs me. He won’t need me. Dib dib dib.