I bought my oldest an alarm clock, and told him that under no circumstances, "unless [he was] bleeding or on fire" was he to go downstairs until the clock read 7:00 AM.
Both boys woke up at 6:53. I heard their footsteps slam on the carpet as they ran in circles, squealing.
Seriously. Every morning they do this.
Owen said, "Wait, I need to check the alarm clock."
"Alarm clock, Owen?"
"Yes, Joel, alarm clock."
There was silence as he examined the numbers. "Six-Five-Seven. Too early."
"Too early, Owen?"
"Yes. GET BACK TO BED!"
I heard the thump of his body as Joel hit the floor, wailing in protest. He wasn't really crying as much as making crying sounds.
I generally ignore these tantrums, which sprout like mushrooms, and are smashed just as easily.
But my first-born does not share my resolve. He cooed, as one would to a small child (unless--ahem--one is heartless), "It's okay, Buddy. I love you. We can go down soon, I promise."
His brother hiccuped and sniffled, "Hug, Owen?"
"Okay." The wailing ceased. They paused for a moment, then my youngest yelped, "I happy now!"
"We can go downstairs," Owen said, "The clock says Seven-Zero-Zero."
I listened to their footsteps tumble down the stairs, and blinked back my tears.
Yes, they will fight. Joel antagonizes. Owen is insufferably bossy.
But, for a moment, grace floated, as effervescent as light and air.