The other night I was digging through my mountainous collection of recipe cards. Why I still have them, I don't know. In the days before we had a computer, which was back when Elvis was alive and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I used to keep all my recipes handwritten on cue cards in a cheap plastic box.
After we got a computer, I began to buy cookbooks and get recipes on line, and never used it again, until last night. You never know what gems could be hiding in the recipe box between those faded and food stained cards, and I found one. There was a card, with a quote written on it that took me back to when Jake was about two years old.
Jake was always a pretty good sleeper. He was never one of those kids that we ever really had to convince to go to bed until he was around 8 or so, and that was only because he'd discovered that we usually broke out the good ice cream or did something we didn't want him around for.
Anyway, one night for some reason I can't remember, he wouldn't go to sleep. He was like a wide eyed little night owl, just chilling out with his Elmo, various plastic tools, and singing to himself. Every few minutes he'd leave his bed and peer at us through the railing on the stairs.
"Whatcha doing?" he'd chirp from the stairs. I'd faithfully lead him back to bed, tuck him in, and leave. Over, and over, and OVER. For the love of God, just go to bed! Please! I kept telling him it was bed time, and his job was to be sleeping. Please, just go to sleep. Or at least just stay in bed.
Finally, at about 10 pm, I was exasperated. I walked him back to bed, kissed his head, and said good-night yet again. At that moment his melt-Mommy's heart radar kicked in, and he wrapped his arms around me, planted a sloppy wet kiss on my cheek and whispered,
"I wuv you." Melting. Instant puddle. Do they teach them that or something?
"I love you too," I mussed up his hair. "There's no other Jakes like you in the whole world."
He sat there for a minute in his fuzzy dalmation pajamas, with his white blond hair all mussed up and his cheeks flushed. His eyes were bright and so, so blue. Suddenly he cocked his head to one side, as if he didn't quite understand.
"Are all the other Jakes sleepin?"