I tend to work a lot of late hours. I am not entirely sure why, but it probably has to do with the fact that there are fewer distractions about at midnight than there are at noon. The phone doesn't ring, there's really nowhere to go. I can sit at my computer and work.
It was not too long ago that at the end of those long nights I would get into bed with either a glass of single-malt scotch or a cup of Earl Grey tea, turn on the TV and watch whatever was on (or a movie, or something I had recorded) for a while, wind down, and go to sleep.
It is not quite a year that my life took a turn. For those who have not been keeping track I am now engaged and living with my fiancé, her (our!) son, and three dogs. For those of you who know me outside the home you will know what a softie I am for my family, or as I like to refer to them, my sixteen favourite legs. At home, at least among the bipeds, I do not always appear so soft.
As I was walking away from the computer tonight I walked into the living room and saw Bailey (the Wheaton Terrier) sprawled out on the floor. He saw me, got up, gave me a quick opportunity to pet him, and then hopped up onto his couch (don't start with me…) and went back to sleep.
I walked up the stairs and stuck my head into Aaron's room (our ten year old son). He was fast asleep, which made me happy because only a couple of hours ago he called out to us, and when I went up to his room he told me he was scared and could not sleep. All that is forgotten and all is well for Aaron and Patches (stuffed dog… we have three real ones, he still likes Patches).
I step into our bedroom and from the glint of light I see that Theresa – I have a lot of loves in this house, but only one partner – is sound asleep. She had a tough week-end; Friday she finished her class in Deep River and we drove home… she only drove for the first two hours but was still in the car for four more. Saturday we ran errands all day and Sunday – after singing in her choir – she drove down to Ohio to her parents' place. It's a seven hour drive, and she didn't hit the road much before 5:30 so she didn't get in until LATE.
The reason she drove to Ohio was because Aaron had been with grandma and grandpa and we had to get him back. My work just did not let me be out of contact for two more days so she went on her own, and this morning before heading north with Aaron they first drove 90 minutes south to see her sister and the new baby. They then left and drove the entire way home – Aaron couldn't share the driving of course – and got in around 9:45 this evening. She stayed with me while I had a bite and then went off to bed… exhausted and rightly so.
With her on the bed were two more figures… Jacob (our Boston Terrier/Beagle cross) was sprawled on my side of the bed with his head on the pillow. When I came down to work he came with me for a bit, but even at eleven p.m. I could see the fatigue in his face. He went up after half an hour, and because of his obvious love for me takes my place when I am not there… including the head on my pillow. It is truly adorable to see.
Gingit – our five month old Basset Hound/Pug cross – seems to alternate between the foot of the bed, the top of the bed (either between us, on my pillow, or behind Theresa's head), and under the bed (she is the only resident who can comfortably crawl under there and discovered the first time she stole Jacob's steak bone that it was a really good place to be safe). At 1:20am she was at the foot of the bed, and seems to have forgiven us that we rearranged the furniture this week-end… it was hilarious to see poor little Gingit realize that she had miscalculated the foot of the bed yesterday, and try as she might to hold onto the sheets slid off the foot of the bed as if in slow motion. I can see now that there are six good inches between her and the end now, and like no other dog I have seen is actually lying on her back asleep.
My sixteen favourite legs are all comfortably asleep, and having made the rounds to check in on them I went back down to make sure the hatches were all secure, and then to take a few minutes… I have been doing a lot of technical writing of late, but little mention of how much I love and appreciate my family.
It was long overdue.