Fourth born, and a rare Sunday all to ourselves.
The house empty, the echoes gone. With all these new open hours to spare.
Three brothers – that move the weight of this house by all general ways of momentum having scattered themselves around various family member’s houses for the weekend. We wake to a strange quiet, so unfamiliar that your worried eyes don’t even know what it counts for when it comes. Your father gone too before the sun, long before we both wake, headed to a swap meet down south where he’ll spend his morning scouring rusted goods for the old bus he’s kept like a shining beacon to his end of day rewards. A late night project we’ve all stumbled in and around about all season long. Never really knowing how far it’s progressed.
Eggs for breakfast and my hand there to help you for once. A white tiny cup to test your drinking skills. Once, twice, three times a failure. Water soaked, happy hands slapping all around that sloppy plastic tray. The dog anchored at your feet, anticipating your every clumsy mishap. One, two, three fallen crumbs come to feed him.
The morning moves slow and we do nothing at all worth noting. Me, trying my best to out wish the hint of another pressing migraine, watching as you pull clothes out of hampers, tossing books off of shelves and blocks out of baskets. Laying stretched and lazy in the corner of the loft where the sun spills in this hour, the relief of a dead cell phone in my robe pocket tempting no one. Offering up nothing.
No music or television this hour on this morning, or spare voices to speak or tend to. No words. No pancakes or even coffee to fill my cup. Just our loose lazy movement and the sweet blur of your small limbs working their way around the house, finding lost cars beneath the coffee table, watching dust sparks float above head from the steady pounding of your fiercely happy hands smacking the burlap pillow cases over and over and over again. Finding all this new magic in the mundane. Everything I see you see still feels new.
We draw a warm bath and fall into a long nap all before lunch time. No plans or phone calls, or brothers or errands to face. Just one long slow Sunday in which you get a little taste of what it is to be the only one. A brief fling with the glorified position of a first-born. You are content and happy to have me all alone. To find me easily, to be hand fed applesauce and held tightly before you fall asleep. But truth be told, in the stairway as we make our way back down to find your clothes, after the day has unfolded and the clouds have darkeend and you have had every toy and corner and hour to wander around just as you please, you shriek and reach with outstretched hands to the collection of crooked photos on the wall. Each of those funny, familiar faces grinning back at us from those frozen images in the frames. Your tiny finger touching the likes of each of them. And with it, noticeably, a sudden longing for everyone you know lives here, but is gone and missing.
Don’t worry baby. They’ll all be back soon. An assurance I tell you once and you seem to accept.
Then spend the rest of you day up and counting on.