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midnight wandering

I do a lot of wandering around in the middle of the night. White robe, hair in my face--like an apparition on silent feet. While awake, I will peek outside to make sure Will's car is here, and now Maggie's.

These things aren't *why* I get up, mind you. I get up for ibuprophen. For a drink of water. To use the restroom. But I may as well check, just in case. All safe and sound. Then back to the cocoon of my bedroom.

Sometimes I forget to take the trash out. And 3 am finds me out in the driveway. But mostly, there is a light on somewhere in the far reaches of the house--the nail room, the laundry room--and I turn it off before returning to bed. It's an adventure, these nighttime travels. I'm not sleepwalking. I'm awake. And busy.

I think, in fact, this is why my children never took a shine to sneaking out as a form of entertainment, because there is zero chance I will sleep through the night and every chance their absence would be noted.

Maggie has a story that never fails to kill every time she tells it. I got up once and could see the light under her door. It was 1 am or so, the weekend, yes. But she was in middle school and it annoyed me.

"Do you know what time it is?!" I hissed at her when I cracked the door open. Literally, I just popped my head through the crack in the door like a specter, and scared the piss out of her with whisper yell that she can still imitate perfectly. Somehow high pitched and imperceptible at the same time.

"Do you know what time it is?!" Like the guy from The Shining...a whisper yell--it's like a rebel yell but even more off putting.

"I woke up this morning at 3:00 am to get a drink of water," I tell Mags today as we are unloading groceries, "and while I was in the kitchen, I noticed Will's light was on in his room."

So I went down there because he was gone, but just in case he was here, I knocked first. When he opened his door, here is what I meant to say:

"Oh, hi. Sorry. I got up to get a drink and noticed your light was on. Sometimes you forget to turn it off when you leave, so I just wanted to check if you were here before I turned it off."

It all made very much sense. All the words lined up in perfect order in my head.

"But," I told Mags, "I think this might be what I DID say":

"....just. It's....the light. Sometimes...left.. 'kay, love you..."

A lot of sleepy shrugging involved. A but of pacing, perhaps. Mumbling, eyes half closed. Not my best version. I can only remember it in hilarious snippets that I related to Mags one by one and had a good old laugh about it.

But I can remember Will, sweet Will. Baffled beyond measure and yet not surprised. Stood there in his doorframe patient and confused.

And will Will and Maggie add this to the file of things they tease me for mercilessly over all the future years? Oh, absolutely.

But in the moment?

In the moment, at 3 am...when I was done mumbling, he said the only thing a child needs to say to his off-the-rocker mom at a time like that:

"Okay, good night. Love you."
And even though most of the memory is lost in the foggy haze between awake and asleep--that part I remember perfectly.❤

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