I don’t get home from work until around 2 am…. sometimes later depending on whether or not my workers were motivated. It’s not ideal. I miss cooking dinner for my family. I miss nighttime kisses from the 3-year-old… and prayers, bathtime, “brushee” teeth, and reading a bedtime story. I miss seeing my daughter dance at the studio.

I don’t miss my 13-year-old son. I don’t miss him because he waits up for me. Every night he greets me at the door and asks me how my day was. We, then, have a snack together. Whether it be something that I whip up or something that I brought home from work.

He’ll ramble on about something- usually Minecraft or politics -and I’ll marvel at the man he is becoming. He tells me of some silly thing his little brother did while I fight back tears remembering how he did the same at that age. Or at least something similar.

Sometimes the conversations are deeper and more meaningful. Sometimes he shares his hopes and dreams for his future. Sometimes he is riddled with fear of what the future holds.

Every once in a while, he is silent. He’ll just sit next to me for a few minutes before giving me a hug and going to bed.

I never asked for him to stay up for me. At the beginning I was annoyed and worried about him getting enough sleep, now I rejoice in the memories we are making. I worry if he doesn’t come downstairs when I get home. I wonder how I can keep him like this; at least freeze the moment just long enough for us to always remember.

These next four and a half years are going to fly by.

He is not always going to want to hang out with his mom at 2 am. I won’t always be able to get good night hugs from him. The “Goodnight Mom. I love you.”‘s will eventually be spoken through a phone every once in a while as he settles into adult living.

I only have four and a half more years of 2 am snacks.

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