Thursday night I slept little.
When I woke on Friday, I had that sleepy headache that we all get: a dull throb at the base of my skull. Coffee did not cure it, nor the drive to work, nor a morning of teaching. I smiled and spent my patience. Students only had half a day, and I left work soon after them. I was supposed to stay all day, but could not concentrate on anything significant.
My wife, Brooke, was surprised to see me. I told her how tired I was, which she knew. So, she took my daughter and they ran errands all afternoon. I laid on the couch and fell asleep to the television, which I love to do. I can rarely nap for longer than twenty minutes. I slept for an hour or so. I woke to commentators talking about some unimportant aspect of professional football. I woke slowly, with no regard to time. I flicked aimlessly through the channels. It felt wonderful.
Brooke came home with Ellis. They had gone to Babies R’ Us and gotten an assortment of items: clothes and a container for dirty diapers. Brooke handed Ellis to me and made dinner. She said she was going to make spaghetti and meatballs. I turned on some music and bounced Ellis on my knee. Brooke and I talked while she cooked. We laughed, and told each other about our days. Together, we sang to the music during lulls in the conversation. Ellis smiled and laughed. She loved the music.
We ate spaghetti and meatballs while Ellis sucked on a fake plastic keychain. She burbled and cooed. We ate the spaghetti, and the garlic toast, and a salad with peppers and avocados. I was hungry. We talked and watched Ellis. I do not remember what we talked about.
After dinner, I turned the music back on. Van Morrison. Brooke was tired and laid on the couch. I danced with Ellis, bouncing her to the music. Brooke smiled. Ellis smiled and laughed. Then, I swung Ellis down, close to Brooke. She laughed and laughed. I swung her again. And again. Each time, she laughed harder. I bounced her and swung her in rhythm to the music. There we were, in the living room, enjoying the night.