When I woke up I felt fine.
Surprisingly so: I had expected to feel ill and dehydrated with a head-ache, and I had expected to wake up late and contorted into some awkward position. Instead I felt fine, it was before nine, and it didn’t sound like anyone else was awake yet.
I checked my tweets and the news, and heard Dylan’s feet hit the floor— he came into the room to complain, like brothers do, about Jack doing something that he technically wasn’t allowed to do, but that was a perfectly reasonable bending of the rules.
This wasn’t unusual, there are no greys in Dylan’s world. When my boss came through the house to see my freshly delivered bike, Dylan, without even knowing his name or who he was, told him off for wearing shoes on the front room carpet.
They sauntered downstairs and I started to get ready for the day, planning to make use of the early start I’d somehow ended up with. I walked down the hall to go brush my teeth. That’s when I found out I wasn’t as unscathed as I thought; I felt like I was walking at an angle, and carelessly sudden turns were to be avoided.
Jack went out to a friend’s (he had this all worked out and left something tantamount to a parental consent form of his own making for us), and Dylan and I chatted in his room about him having “individual” game time and that he didn’t think that Helen and I would ever come back after last night.
I fell into an Instapaper-induced stupor reading some old William Gibson piece in a Wired from the distant past. When I recovered, I joined him while he played on the Xbox. I sat down and he wordlessly, without taking his eyes from the game he was playing, came over and sat on my lap, before lying back on top of me.
It was a little uncomfortable, and I’d woken up in the mood to write something, but I’d read Regrets of the Dying a few months ago and, while it’s the kind of cloyingly sweet piece I find it easy to be cynical about, I guess a lot of it is probably right. It’s not in the article, but the line “no one ever says that they wished they had hugged their kids less” keeps sticking in my head.
Eventually it did get too uncomfortable, though, so I went in search of food. Everything hit me at once and I thought that I’d be sick immediately. I thought Weetabix would help, sat down to eat some and started shaking, I felt so ill.
While I fought a wave of nausea, Dylan stormed out to the kitchen, holding a pair of heels. “Mum’s shoes. In the front room!”
— Written perched on the edge of the sofa with my youngest.