Sunday afternoons

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

There will always be something special about Sunday mornings.

It’s the only day off that MJ and I both have during the week, which means we can both sleep in a little and enjoy each other’s company. Even though Will decided to get up unusually early today, we still managed to settle him down eventually and sleep in until 8:30. With Will sprawled out and entertaining himself on a blanket on the floor, MJ and I rifled through the Sunday newspaper and had our bowls of cereal. Eventually I went for a run and then came back and took a shower.

When I got out of the shower, MJ was in bed with Will trying to get him to take a nap so he wouldn’t be in a bad mood for the BBQ later this afternoon. But she was having trouble because Will’s tooth is bothering him and he was restless. So I turned the lights in the bedroom off, closed the shades and turned on the ceiling fan. We laid in bed — with Will in between us — and we each held one of his hands. He looked at us, his eyes darting between me and MJ, and a very contented smile spread across his face. That led to MJ and I looking at each other and without uttering a single word, we both conveyed a world of emotion as if to say “Can you believe this beautiful person we created?”

I could see Will wanted to drift off to sleep but he was too happy that both his mom and dad were lavishing all their attention on him. So I began to do what I always do when I want him to go to sleep. I sang his favorite song called “Share the Darkness” by the Saw Doctors, one of my favorite Irish bands.

As I sang the familiar chorus his eyelids got heavier and heavier, until finally — just as I finished the last note — he drifted off to sleep. I put mom to sleep too.

If you’re not a parent, there’s probably no way I can describe that feeling. But it’s just…beautiful. Singing to your child and holding his little hand as he stares at you with huge eyes filled with nothing but innocence and love, knowing that it’s OK to fall asleep because Daddy will always be there to take care of him. And you just stare at your little boy in absolute awe wondering how, with all of your glaring faults, you could possibly create another human being this perfect.

The house is dead silent right now save the clicking of the keyboard. Even the dogs and cats are asleep. And when I’m done writing I’ll sneak back in to the bedroom, as I do most nights, to watch Will sleep. His little chest rising and falling, his tiny mouth making a sucking motion (the kid is thinking about eating even when he’s asleep) as he lays next to my beautiful wife. I’ll look at them and feel reassured that I am the luckiest schmuck on the planet.

And for what it’s worth, if you have never listened to the Saw Doctors do yourself a favor and give them a try. They actually play at the Cape Cod Melody Tent every year and they tour the US annually too. Here are the lyrics to “Share the Darkness”:

Hey I can’t I say that I love you
I cant’ say that I don’t
I cant say that I couldn’t
And I won’t say that I won’t
But I really like your company
I’m enjoying myself no end
But I can’t keep from thinking
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight
Make it warm and burning bright
I’ll not say nothing
I’ll be polite
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight
Ta an dorachadas ag teacht anuas (Darkness is descending)
Tar abhaile liom a gra. (Come home with me my love)
Ta an dorachadas ag teacht anuas (Darkness is descending)
Tar abhaile liom (Come home with me)

Ah life’s too short for wasting
For ifs and might have been’s
Life’s too short for wondering if
You could have lived your dreams
And its way too short for loneliness
We don’t have to be
Now that we trust each other
Why don’t you stay with me?
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight
Make it warm and burning bright
I’ll not say nothing
I’ll be polite
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight

When the world belongs to distant dogs
And the air is dark and still
And drunken conversations pass beneath the window sill
And there’s someone singing
Elvis songs as they make their way back home
and all your fears and worries
attack when you’re alone
when you’re alone, when you’re alone, when you’re alone

Why don’t we share the darkness tonight
Make it warm and burning bright
I’ll not say nothing
I’ll be polite
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight
Ta an dorachadas ag teacht anuas
Tar abhaile liom a gra
Ta an dorachadas ag teacht anuas
Tar abhaile liom
Why don’t we share the darkness tonight

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9 thoughts on “Sunday afternoons

  1. Bobby describes that same feeling when he’s driving and all of us fall asleep in the car…something about us all feeling safe with him in the driver’s seat, caring for his family, getting us where we need to go… 🙂

    So sweet…I love that you write about these moments. Not everyone describes them as well as you do and I think it helps remind me (with a chatty and attention demanding three year old and a newborn who is 100% more needy) to soak up those moments and stop worrying about the laundry, the bills, the house…

    Stop and smell the roses:)

  2. My kiddos, now 11, 18 and 25, could always be sedated by ‘I Saw A Ship A Sailing’; a song my father sang to me and my four siblings.

  3. That is precious. That feeling never goes away. I get caught up in the day to day aspects of being a mom but sometimes it hits me all over again that I’m MOM! I don’t know who in the universe has such a twisted sense of humor that they thought it was a good idea to make ME responsible for raising 3 human beings.

    It’s even more amazing when they develop their own personalities and they waver on the cusp between being ‘your child’ and being their own individual person. Well, except when you realize they’ve inherited your sarcasm laden humor. Sometimes I get caught between laughing and a strong desire to put them in a Dibiase-esque sleeper hold.

  4. Any by “enjoying each others company”, you mean “making sandwiches”, and by “making sandwiches”, you mean getting laid, right?

  5. Getting laid??? You thought that’s what I was talking about when I mentioned sandwiches? I take offense at that notion sir! I am merely a fan of sandwiches and you have sullied the thought of delicious sandwiches. How dare you sir! How dare you.

  6. Well, Will has good taste in music. That was always my favorite saw doctors song too!

  7. Badass Geek – I thought the same thing. I will stand beside you in the gutter.

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