TWO bounces on the bed as I unpack our bags in my old bedroom. I grab her hands and make her stop. She falls into the pillows instead. I still sometimes wonder how my room ever seemed big. My friends and I would cram in there with a water bed, a papasan, and an enormous tape deck stereo. Yet we never felt cramped. Now, with one adult, two small children, one bed, and bags, there’s barely enough room for all of us at once. But it makes me happy to share it with them.
When the girls and I visit alone, I sleep on the full-sized bed with ONE, and TWO sleeps on the queen-sized air mattress. (Or next to the air mattress, depending on how much she moves in her sleep.) It would make more sense for the girls to share the air mattress, but TWO prefers to sleep alone. She always has. I ask if she’d like me to join her anyway, making sure everything at least starts off fair. Fairness is key to them. And asking is as important to TWO as actually sharing the bed is to ONE.
“Want me to sleep with you tonight?”
“No thank you, Mama.”
“Are you sure? I don’t need to sleep with ONE each night.”
“I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s just that you snore.”
I laugh. “Me? I don’t snore.”
“Yes, you do,” she teases. “It sounds like this…” And with that she proceeds to make high-pitched moaning noises. Unladylike sex sounds. In my old bedroom. At my parents’ house.
I try not to gasp. Not that she’d hear me over her snores of ecstasy.
“My snores don’t sound like that,” I insist, casually.
“Yes, they do.” She jumps on the mattress. I don’t stop her.
I should just let it go. I know I should. But I can’t. (Of course I can’t.)
“When do I…I mean…where did you hear that?”
“Outside your door one night. You sounded like a ghost.”
Which is definitely not how I feel, standing there, listening to her spot-on imitation. In fact, I feel very much the opposite. Very much not invisible. Not apparition-like.
“You’re silly,” she says.
“No, you are,” I reply, forcing myself to smile.
“Okay,” she conceeds. “But I still don’t want you snoring in my bed.”
I nod. Bite my tongue. Mentally adding that I was only being nice. That the air mattress sucks and I’m glad she doesn’t want to share it.
Oh well. At least we keep the door locked.
(And at least I’m still “snoring.”)
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