A Father’s Day’s nap crammed the whole family onto the bed. Mom and dad playing the part of bookends with T. and Coco in between, Walt down by the foot.
Five bodies occupied the bed. Four bodies lolled in rest. T. made the tiny rounds, engaging each face and cajoling each body to act. He climbed on dad’s back, stroked Coco’s tail, conversed with Walk’s snout and tugged at mom’s hair. Then back to dad.
T.’s not much of a napper. His schedule is 12 hours on and 12 hours off – a rhythm I gather from conversation that leaves a lot of parents with pangs on envy. But as much as my wife and I appreciate an uninterrupted night’s sleep, there is great utility in having a child snoozing in the middle of the day.
The family nap was my half-baked idea that he would follow our example. If we all simultaneously did nothing, if we ignored his demands for amusement and distraction, if we just closed our eyes and laid still, he would allow the exhaustion we could see lurking under his eyes to take over.
It did not.
For an hour he did not sleep. He didn’t cry or whine or attempt escape or poke the dogs’ eyes or tickle mom’s tummy or bite dad’s shoulder. Instead he tossed and turned, flopped and sighed, laughed at unintelligible jokes and told long stories in his murmur language.
Mom, through a combination of fatigue and tolerance, managed to fall asleep. Dad, who could not, followed the action through the slit of a half-closed eyelid with a mixture or annoyance and amusement familiar to anyone who’s seen the movie, Dumb and Dumber.
This is what has become of me, squeezed chock a block on a bed on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were a million things I could have been doing and not a thing in the world I wanted to do more.
It was perfect.
As soon as it stopped being perfect, T. and I left Mom to her sleep and went to the park.
And so we come to my conundrum. When we began this blog, we had just adopted a boy with Down syndrome from the foster care system. What a story to share! What insight we have gained! How interesting we are!
And then something unexpected happened. We became a typical family. A man, a woman and a child trying to figure it all out, taking steps forward and taking steps backward. We worry about money and argue about responsibilities. We try to maintain our identities as we volunteer more of ourselves over to this sublime project. The joys are pedestrian and the challenges mundane.
As we move along in this life we are less aware we are raising an atypical child or an adopted child. We are raising our child. We know nothing else. It is all immensely normal and deliciously unremarkable.
High drama and unending crisis may make for a good blog, but I rather like our little life. We’ll keep posting and we hope what you find here amuses, even if it doesn’t fascinate.