10am on the patio. What feels like the first time I have been alone in…days? Months? Somehow it doesn’t feel like it counts as time alone when it’s measured in minutes. That feels like stolen time. A few minutes on the bed while he’s on the patio and she’s in the bathroom. Forty-five minutes in the lobby while she’s hanging out in the room as he falls asleep. An hour on the couch before going to bed. Im not used to this much togetherness. And it’s not jut vacation. When I need to wake up at 5am, I need to go to bed at 9pm. The days are simultaneously long and short. I’m really feeling it this week. And as I think about the fall, I don’t see much relief. Maybe evenings. I suppose once I am afforded the luxury of sleeping in a bit (maybe until 8?) I can stay up later, too. Give myself a few hours at a time.

Even 8 floors up, I can hear The Who’s voice, down at the pool below, swimming with m*. People tell me what a cute voice he has and I suppose, objectively, I can see that. Today — and often lately — I experience it as piercing and shrill, cutting through the silence like one of those infomercial knives that can slice a tin can and then a ripe tomato seconds later. It’s relentless. He has so much to say. So many thoughts. I don’t want to squelch his creativity.

“You know what, Mama?”
“When I grow up, I’m gonna invent a group home that never runs out of space.”(He had just seen a person with a disability in the hotel lobby and his string of questions led us to the notion that sometimes, people with disabilities end up in group homes. ‘What if there’s not enough space in the home for everyone who needs to live there?’ he had asked. ‘I guess they’d have to go to another one,’ I answered. ‘But what if there’s not enough space in that home and the next one and the next one?’ That’s when the invention idea came up. He does that all the time — identifies a problem and then commits himself to solving it. It’s an admirable and noble and delightfully idealistic trait. I hope that he has it forever, which is why I indulge these near-constant exchanges. Usually.)

“Y’know what, Mama?”
“When I grow up, I’m gonna make a restaurant and it’s gonna have Octopus Bites on the menu. And for dessert, you can choose gummy bears and if you choose gummy bears, you get a thousand of them so that way, you won’t run out if you want more. And you know what, Mama?”
“My restaurant is only going to be open for one hour, that way all the people who want to eat there will have to come at that time and so ‘dat I won’t have to keep cooking all day long.”
(You really can’t argue with that logic, can you?)

It’s a sticky situation I find myself in all the time. Not wanting to cut off the amazing things swirling around inside his head and at the same time, just wanting five fucking minutes of fucking peace and fucking quiet.

This break on the balcony has been good. I’m nice and hot now and ready to be in the pool with him, where he is certain to explain his idea for a special kind of swim vest he’s going to invent or the many ways in which his new rubber shark has learned how to swim and catch prey or perhaps the number of bubbles he has learned how to create with the restaurant straw we allowed him to bring down with him.

No wonder he sleeps so well these days; it must be exhausting to be inside his head. I know it sure is out here.Shh.

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