Me: (walking to the kitchen to get coffee, eyes not yet open)
Hank: Happy Birthday, mom!
Me: Thank you, buddy.
Hank: Good morning! I am so glad it’s your birthday.
Me: Me, too.
Hank: Are you being sarcastic.
Me: Not at all! I love my birthday; one more trip around the sun.
Hank: You’re 38!
Me: Indeed, isn’t it wonderful!
Hank: I love that you love your birthday so much. Some moms don’t like getting older.
Me: Yes, but I am not some moms. (inhaling my coffee) I am grateful to age. Unfortunately, I have many friends that will never have the opportunity to be 38. I am so very lucky to live this life every single day and my birthday is the day I get to love my life out loud and celebrate how awesome it is to be me!
Hank: I didn’t know you thought about birthdays that way.
Me: Every day I get to wake up and hang out with you, enjoy this beautiful place where we are fortunate to live, laugh with your sister and be adored by your papa. I have amazing friends and family, my life is rich with creative pursuits and food and and the internet is full of puppy videos and no matter how hard I try I will never be able to read all the books I want to read and see all the places I want to see or all the films or plays, but every year I get a chance to try.
Me: Everyone’s life is hard. Every person has their own struggles and we can’t compare our life to anyone else’s. You only get this one wild and magical life to be you. My life isn’t easy, but it’s worth it and I love it.
Hank texted me this morning so he wouldn’t wake up his pai (dad) who is sick with a cold.
Me: (eyes glued shut, barely conscience, walking into the living room) Now, what is all this?!?!
Molly: (up two hours early, chipper as a squirrel) MAMA! Good morning! It morning time.
Me: MaGoo, the sun has not yet risen. It is still sleeping-time unless you are Hank and it is get-ready-for-school-even-though-everyone-else-is-still-in-bed-time which would still include me for another 15 minutes on a normal weekday. (inescapable yawn)
Hank: (having turned on cartoons, tucking his sister into a blanket) She actually woke up at 5am.
Me: Did you now?
Molly: I wake up!
Hank: She woke me up in the sweetest way and asked for water.
Me: For real!?
Molly: I say please.
Me: Well done.
Hank: It wasn’t a big deal. I had a water bottle next to my bed.
Molly: I drank water.
Hank: And then she went back to sleep until my alarm went off and she got up with me.
Molly: I no sleep. Mano (brother) sleep. I be quiet.
Me: Is that so? That was very kind of you, Amália. That is very respectful of your roommate.
Molly: I wake up! I no sleep well.
Me: You know, last night I didn’t sleep well either.
Hank: You didn’t?
Me: No, I wasn’t able to stay in my dreams. I kept waking up before the plot thickened.
Molly: I no stay in my dreaming, mama. I wake up.
Me: Me, too!
Molly: Me, too! I get up. (kicking off her blanket) I get dressed now, please. I go to school with mano (brother).
Me: Are you sure you can go to school with mano (brother)?
Hank: I work all day at my school. No playing.
Me: Do you think you could spend the whole day being very quiet and sitting very, very still?
Molly: (without hesitation pulling the blanket back over herself) No.
Hank: Then you better go to your Ama’s (nanny’s) house today.
Me: Thank you for being Molly’s best big brother, Hank. I don’t know of another ten year old who would be so sweet after being awoken at 5am. Most other siblings would have yowled for their mother.
Hank: I don’t mind. I used to wake up at night when I was her age and I’d be so scared and too afraid to call for you. I am happy she has me. I like helping my mana (sister). She’s too sweet to be annoying.
Me: Just remember that when you’re thirteen and she is six.
Hank: Oh, that is my dream. Then I can go and get her from school and we can go to the café and I will buy her a cake and we’ll talk about our day, then we will walk home together.
Me: (shaking my head in grateful disbelief) See, this is why I don’t play the lottery; I’ve already won!
Molly: I firsty, mama.
Me: One chocolate milk, one coffee and one decaf coffee coming right up!
Hank: Okay, I will go get ready now, but Mama, can I have a chocolate milk today?
Me: Claro (of course).
Hank: (wilting into a snuggle pile with his sister on the sofa) Today, I want to be just like my mana (sister).
Molly: (wrapping around her big brother) I love you, mano (brother).