Last night Flaco went to bed in his regular way - Matthew played the guitar and sang for him (a lot of Pedro the Lion lately if you're curious), prayed with him, and then tucked him in. Actually not in that order at all, but that's all right. As usual, Flaco dismissed Matthew eventually, told him it was okay for him to go downstairs, and so he did. Settled in for the end of GI Joe with Roger. About ten minutes later we heard weeping and gnashing of teeth. I went upstairs to see what was the matter, and there was my boy in his Superman pajamas, tears flooding his eyes. I held him for a bit and asked if he wanted to pray again. He did. He knew just who he wanted to pray for, so we prayed and prayed. (He has a way of always knowing who is on my heart. I don't know how. I talk in whispers at night to Matthew, and yet he knows, he always knows.) He asked me to tell him a story, so I whispered to him the story of creation (as translated for me by my friend Najla.) "Estas hablando en arabe, mamita?" he asked. "Si, mijo" I said. "Hmm. Shukran, mamita. Shukran!*"
Then he joined in, whispering in the night "In the beginning, the world was empty, there was nothing but darkness everywhere. But God said 'let there be light,' and there was..." And I stayed and stayed and thanked God for my little son's half hour of insomnia, for the chance to be still and quiet, for the chance to take care of my son, for the chance to bow before my God, for the chance to remember again, again, his power over the dark.
*Shukran is thank you in Arabic! He knows three of the sentences of the creation story in Arabic too, which is pretty sweet. More than pretty sweet. Sweet as overly-honeyed headache-inducing baklava, if you ask me. He can also ask "Hey, would anyone like some coffee?" in a Jersey accent. In English. Not a Jersey accent in Arabic, although who knows? Maybe someday.
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