Most Friday mornings, I peek in on Malik still sleeping and am comforted by how peaceful he looks. I'll think about letting him stay home from school so he can just stay longer in his dreams and I'll visualize a whole day of pure awesomeness. Lions at the zoo, crafts at MOMA, cheese pizza for lunch, and maybe even a movie to end the day. And then we would head back home where we'll fall into fits of laughter talking about everything we did, until he closes his eyes peacefully back to sleep.
But then each Friday morning, as he starts starts
stirring in bed slowly waking his morning bird self just after the
clocks ticks 6am, the reality will sneak up into my daydream.
Trying to motivate him to get his shoes on faster so we can leave the house early, But we're going to see lions!, then
trying to entertain him on the hour and half train ride to the Bronx
Zoo. It is the only one with lions. Convincing him that the zoo is HUGE
and there is a lot more to see than just said lions, We've already come all this way, we might as well look at more animals.
Realizing he is tired from the train ride and half mile we have already
walked so, yeah I guess we'll just have to come back another time.
Entertaining him on the hour train ride back to the city where we decide
to go for pizza first before MOMA and then making a detour to Dylan's
for some sugar energy now that Malik is sleepy from lunch. Then over to
MOMA where we stand in line for twenty minutes. I'll walk him around the
museum pretending I can't find the children's room just so I can get a
peek of some of the exhibits and then we'll head downstairs where I'll
read Taschen books and he'll tape together strips of newspaper. Then
I'll remember that I have the same Taschen book at home and a small pile
of New York Times that has yet to go out to recycling. Then we'll head
over to Starbucks to wait out the last few minutes of Ibby's shift at
work and I'll listen as Malik makes up stories about living in India and
his secret life as a super hero. Then he'll say those words that are
just so sweet at home, but make my bones hurt when I hear them in
Midtown. "Mommy, I'm sleepy. Can you hold me?" So I'll pick him up as I
catch a glimpse of Ibrahim outside and by the time I get out the door,
Malik's head is on my shoulder and his eyes closed. So as a family we'll
go through the turnstiles and ride 45 minutes back home. Along the way
Ibby will say that if Malik had been able to stay up a little longer
then we could've grabbed some merguez sandwiches from my favorite place
in Astoria. But maybe next time.
So each Friday morning at 6:05am,
when my little man continues his journey back from his dreams, I'll
quietly move around the kitchen, making breakfast and packing his school
snack. Around 6:30, I'll hear his footsteps creak the floorboards and
his little voice from the room, "Good morning, Mommy. Today do I gotta
go to school?"
"Yes, Little Man."
"Tomorrow, do I gotta go to school?"
"No, tomorrow is Saturday."
"Then tomorrow, can we go to the park by Baba's job so I can climb the mountains?"
And I'll realize how easy it is to keep him happy.
we'll leave home and I'll drop him off at school. Then I'll wait out
the rest of the day in this quiet apartment. In the afternoon, I'll head
back to the school to pick him up and watch as he walks out the doors
with his class. As he's making his way towards the gate, he'll see my
face among the other parents and flash the biggest smile, turn to his
friend and say, "My Mommy's here!" and I'll realize just how easy it is
for me to be happy, too.