time plays tricks on my brain. that last hour before bedtime is always filled with desperate playing, a kind of hurried whirlwind, as if jude knows that the clock is ticking down down down to sleep. it almost seems like he pushes, desperately racing from thing to thing trying to get in just one. more. game. of course this means he's also rushed, and tired, and i can feel the crankiness coming on, the activity whirlwind tumbling over itself until it gets tripped up and... meltdown. some nights it doesn't happen. nights like last night we all flit around the room like happy spirits, laughing and sharing toys until the clock surprises us and it's time for bed. other nights the heat fuels on at racing chasing pace, pushing all of us minute by minute to closer to bedtime. some nights the clock haunts me like a vengeful god; others it's easy to forget it exists at all.
and then CRASH- it's bedtime, a sweet relief for all of us. he curls up and drifts off to sleep like it's his job and we go back down to the living room and flop down for food. and resting. those first few minutes of freedom always feel like a breath of fresh air that we both needed. unlimited bathroom privileges! no one yells when i go to the kitchen! i can zip around and get things cleaned up! i can have a glass of water without tiny hands reaching and grabbing and spilling!
but, in the cruelest of ironies, after the awesomeness of bedtime has faded for a few minutes i get the ache- the itch- in my bones to be with him. it comes on suddenly and crushes the air right out of me. i can hardly breath for how much instinct drives me to go get the boy. i don't, of course, because he's happily zzzzz-ing away, but suddenly i'm overcome with him, magnetized to reunite with him as soon as possible and continue our elaborate dance of playing and hugging and screaming and wishing that it was cuddling but taking what's offered instead.