Soft footsteps padded across my bedroom carpet. Then the bed bounced as a small body rebounded off the side and under the covers. Patch wriggled his way into his favorite snuggle spot and we all drifted back to sleep for awhile.
Howard’s morning playlist sounded off at the usual time, waking all of us. Usually we turn the alarm off on Saturdays, but Howard had to give a presentation at the LDS Storymakers Writing Conference. He would be gone all day and we planned for me to join him at the awards gala in the evening. I looked forward to it. I do not get many chances to dress formally and go out. Not to mention I love the people who are there. It was so much fun staying out late the night before to visit with them all. The kids had a movie fest in my absence and I put them to bed when I got home.
Patch and I snuggled under the covers while Howard got up to shower.
“Did you have fun last night?” I asked Patch.
He smiled “Yes. We watched three Scooby Doo shows.” He then proceeded to give me a detailed description of each plot. I did not interrupt his flow of chatter. Sometimes Patch just needs to talk until his head is empty. I know the feeling. I do the same thing. I did not really listen to the plots. I was too busy watching Patch. Next Wednesday we’ll be separating for four days. Howard and I have a convention and the kids are staying with relatives. They’ll have a good time and so will we, but being away is still hard on the youngest of my kids. Patch’s eyes were alive with excitement and the gap in his front teeth gave a slight lisp to his speech. He’s not the baby he once was.
The stories wound down and we snuggled under the covers in silence for a few minutes. The house is chilly since we’ve turned off the heat and opened windows for cool spring air.
“So next week you get to stay with your cousins.” I said.
Patch’s face lit up and then his forehead crinkled. “I’m going to miss you mom.”
“I know. That part is hard. But you’re going to have fun.”
He nods, but then wraps my arms around him and snuggles closer.
“Hey buddy. Dad and I were planning on me going with him to a dinner tonight. You would get to have another fun movie night. How would you feel about that?”
Patch was silent for a moment, then answered “I’d rather have you home mom.”
“You want your normal bedtime with me here?”
I think of the beautiful dress I planned to wear. I think of the friends with whom I could visit. I think of how over-tired the kids were last night and the likely crankiness that I’ll have to deal with today. The morning following had church. Kids up late for two nights in a row guarantees Sunday morning meltdowns. I look into my boy’s blue eyes and know that being home for him and his siblings is more important. I need to give them two days of uninterrupted mom-at-home time this weekend so that we’re all ready for next week.
“Okay, I’ll stay home.”
The further I got into the day, the more sure I was that the decision was right. Sometimes the business things need to bend to the family things.