I open my eyes as noise fills my ears. I become aware that I am now alone in bed, that the sunshine streaming through the window has warmed. It must be hours later from when I last woke; exhausted after a busy night, sleep traded to comfort a little boy whimpering in the darkness. I lay still, listening to the joyous sounds tumbling in through the cracked door. Rambunctious laughter, heavy footsteps, and thunderous 'rawr's from my little one. I catch glimpses of movement through the doorway. Around and around, my boys chase each other around the kitchen island, throwing toys at each other and laughing each time they make contact.
It is Sunday. We have nowhere to be, no agenda yet for the day except football at three at grandma's. I pull myself from my warm bed, begin to get ready for the day. There's a craft fair at Union Station, our backyard. We also know there's enormous Christmas trees heavy with shining balls and a Christmas train that a certain little boy would enjoy. We dress and bundle ourselves against the biting wind, walking across the bridge to the warmth of the great hall. We wind our way through the decorations and all the craft booths, making our first stop for our ritualistic Sunday coffee and muffins. Aidric picks out a chocolate cookie with m&ms the size of his face and a juice box. We shrug; it's Sunday. He grins at us with chocolate oozing between his teeth.
It's time for the train, and we find out it costs $5. Quickly, we run across to the opposite end of the building to the ATM, hurrying to secure our boy a spot on that ride. We hurry back, and he hands a crumbled bill into the lady's hand with a wide smile. He chooses daddy to help him in to the train, deliberating over the perfect spot. He chooses one, and sits backwards from everyone else. He wiggles in his seat, claps his hands, stomps his feet. I've never seen his smile brighter. We laugh watching him, laughter from the sheer joy of getting to witness our son have so much joy. Around and around he goes, waving to us each time he passed as we stand recording him with our phones like the doofy parents we are.
After the ride it is time for a nap, but I had spied some precious toys I knew needed to be under the tree this year. We walk back home, lay Aidric in our bed where he immediately falls back to sleep without a fuss, and I hurry back across the bridge once more to snatch up a perfect wooden bow and arrow and a tyrannosaurus rex. At home I wrap them in brown paper, displaying them under the tree as proudly as an official Red Ryder BB gun.
The little one stirs; it is time to begin again. To grandma's we go.