This morning I woke up around 3:30, sneezing. I got up, blew my nose, and hoped that would be the end of it, but no, as soon as I was back in bed, it began again. Why was I sneezing in the middle of the night? The random thought that a spider or some other creepy crawly had found its way into my nasal passages sprang from my all too vivid imagination. There was no going back to sleep after that. Not wanting to disturb my husband with the racket I was making, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and headed downstairs.
It wasn't until just before daylight that I finally fell back to sleep. I awoke not much later to noises of doors opening and closing upstairs and to the sounds of cats doing something they surely needed to be scolded for. I was surprised, however, that neither my husband nor son had appeared in the kitchen. Thinking that maybe they were simply trying to let me sleep, I decided I had better go upstairs and let them know that I was in fact awake.
When I reached the top of the stairs, I could see that my bedroom door was open a crack. I figured my husband had opened it so Benny and Emma, two of our cats, could have a conversation. I was surprised, however, when a hand, most definitely human in form, reached out through the opening. I recognized it instantly as the hand of my younger son, Jack. He must have gone into my room to visit Emma and was attempting to play with Benny.
To be funny, I reached my hand in and quickly withdrew it. The joke was on me, though, as there was no response. I leaned over to peak inside my room. Sure enough, there was Jack sitting on the floor next to the door. His head, though, was bent down and he had his AirPods in, which explained why he hadn't reacted when I had reached my arm into the room. I reached in again, only this time I made a brain-sucking motion on top of his head. I saw him turn his head to the interior of the room as I retreated. I imagined he was expecting to see his father behind him. It must have been a surprise to see his dad still lounging on the bed.
"What?" I heard him mutter quietly, his voice imbued with utter confusion.
That's when I burst out laughing and revealed myself. Jack's eyes said, "How could you, Mom?" but the smile that could not be fully contained despite his best efforts said, "Well played, Mom. Well played."