“Tyler. Come on, it’s time to get up.”
I gently shake my ten year-old. His strong, tan body is twisted in blankets, little stuffed animals cradled around his head.
“Wait,” comes his sleepy, muffled response, and I may or may not drop shorts and a tee-shirt on his head before giving up and walking, in a weird side step around his massive maze of cars, army men and dragons, from his room.
“Tyler,” I yell from downstairs. “Breakfast is on the table.”
“Wait.” He calls back. “I’m finishing my set-up.”
“Camp doesn’t care if you’re finishing a set-up. We’ve got to go.”
A small, distant, “wait” floats down to me. It is almost lost in the morning noise; a 5 year-old bouncing at my legs begging me to color for him, a Facetime conversation that my 8 year-old is having with a girl friend he’s had since he was two, the ding of the toaster, the beloved pour and sputter of the Keurig.
At the table, spooning in some, uh, organic Reese’s Puffs, I again encourage him to hurry, but he is busy with the comics and ignores me. “Read this!” He says, pointing to Zits. “It’s funny.”
Then he points to The Lockhorns. “I don’t get it.”
Amusing. He’s already identifying with the teenager comic and totally doesn’t get Loretta thinking her husband is more of a meatball than her meatball.
“Tyler, get your sneakers on. I told you twice already.”
“Wait.” He says off-handedly, heading toward his laptop. “I just need two minutes on this game.”
“Tyler…” I warn thru gritted teeth.
“Wait.” He says again, almost pleadingly. His eyes dart from me to the screen. “One more minute.”
Seconds from me slamming the screen shut, he triumphantly does a last tick on the keyboard and closes it down. “Done!” He beams.
It’s hard not to beam back at that face, but somehow I manage a small growl.
Finally, everyone has what they need, and has done what they have to. “Okay, ready.” I shout to the air, because no way anyone is listening. Miraculously, my two younger boys head for the door and walk directly into the screen that they are asked not to run into, every day.
My oldest has disappeared. I find him back at the computer.
“You’re kidding me, right?”
He opens his mouth, but before he can say anything I beat him to it. “If you tell me to wait, I might lose it.”
He smiles, nods mischievously, and says in his playful, patronizing voice, “Oh don’t worry, little mommy. I won’t say that bad word. It’s all good. See?” With exaggerated slowness, he shuts the laptop screen. “All ready.”
“Uh, baby, your sneakers aren’t on.”
Again, that sweet, goofy smile.
In a few days, my beautiful 10 year-old will be 11. Soon, he will be running out of the house, instead of me pushing him.
Suddenly, I’m not in such a rush.
“Wait!” I want to cry. “Wait.”