I love a cold house. Like, ridiculously so. My bedroom at night is downright cold. (You can blame a certain Robb Williford for this. I had no choice but to adapt my body temperature to his arctic preferences.)
But the furnace stopped working yesterday, and the temp in the house was dropping dangerously close to my age. I’m a tough girl, but this I can’t handle. So we loaded up and came to my parents’ house, which meant three things: 1) Tuck could watch Broncos with his favorite comrade, Grandma, 2) Favorite cereals for everyone, 3) Waking up to my dad’s coffee.
It also meant that Tuck and I would be bunkmates. I came to bed after he had fallen asleep, because I’m an adult like that. I nudged him to move over and make room for me. He looked at me with narrow, sleepy eyes and pillow creases across his cheek. “Um, no, Mommy. I’m going to sleep on this side. Sorry about that.”
I forgive you. And I’ll sleep on the far side.
“Mommy, can I have that fuzzy blanket you brought up?”
“No, because you get to sleep on that side.”
He rolled over to face me, now fully awake. He looked at the book in my hands, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen. (Love. Her.)
“Mommy, what does that say across the top? Number One… New… York… Tim’s… Boat Stealer.”
“Close. Actually, it says #1 New York Times Bestseller. The New York Times is a newspaper, and they keep track of the books people love most. That means this is a book that America loves.”
He traced the letters. I said, “That’s one of my dreams, Tuck. I would love for one of my books to say that on the cover.”
He held the book out to me, “Well, look! You already have a book that says that!”
“No, I mean I book that I write. I hope someday one of the books I have written will be a New York Times Bestseller.”
“Ohhhhh…” A look of recognition. Aha. So it’s not just about collecting NYTBS, although there is great merit in that.
He opened my book, naturally filled with doodles and notes, circles and scalloped underlines. He said, almost out of the side of his mouth like he was speaking a secret we keep together, “Mommy, I told my teacher about this. I told her that you write in books.”
“Oh, did you?”
“Yes. I told her I think you underline the very best sentences, and probably also any words you don’t know.” The second grade version of ‘interacting with the text.’
I smiled. “Yep. That’s pretty much how it goes, buddy. Do you ever write in books?”
My rule-follower looked at me wide-eyed. “No. I definitely do not.”
I situated my pillow under my head as he found my bookmark, a 3×5 card with one of my favorite quotes scripted in my handwriting. He asked me to read it to him.
“It says, ‘Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. It takes so much time and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies,’ and it’s written by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors.”
He rolled onto his back and said, “A million moments.”
I think this is one of them.