This is just a snapshot, a short glimpse into a moment of my life.
Monkey wanders over to me, dragging his blanket, the one that’s white and fluffy on one side and black and velvety on the other. It is mid-afternoon, and his homework is done, so he is wearing a smile. I sit on my Daddy Chair, a chair that was once sublimely cozy until the cushions lost their strength and the electric motor of the recliner began to literally smoke. It is not quite as comfortable anymore and is no longer plugged in, but it is mine. Monkey climbs on one armrest and tugs his blanket over him.
“Wait, let’s both go under,” I say, pulling the blanket over my head. It is dark enough under the blanket, and we laugh. Only a little sunlight has crept into this space, just enough to see each other.
“Hold on,” says Monkey, and he runs to his room on his speedy little 8-year-old feet, soon returning with a book light.
Under the blanket, now equipped with a book light, I try to make shadow puppets but fail. I laugh, expressing how impossible it seems to make a shadow puppet in such circumstances. The blanket is too close, and I can’t get the angle right in order to actually see the shadows. Monkey adjusts the light, but laughs because it’s not working.
“Let me take that,” I say, reaching for the book light.
He shows me where the power button is, and I shut it off and make a silly face.
I turn the light on, showing my silly face, then shut it off again. Each time the light comes on, another face to show this little boy. He’s eight, but in some ways, he’s even younger at heart.
“My turn,” he says.
I wait and watch. The light goes off. In the shadows I see him choose an expression, then turn the light on. A wayward tongue sticking out, crossed eyes, a wrinkled nose. It is all golden.
These are the moments to treasure.