Absolute Beginners (2)

Both of my children snore.

They breathe in hard, and let out tiny, oddly congested sighs.  In through the nose, out through the nose; in through the nose, out through the mouth; in through the mouth, out through the nose.  They cycle, snort, reset, roll over, sigh, lay in silence and begin again:  Little signs of life.

My son had, once again, insisted that my wife and I read to him, not on the couch, nor in his bed, but in our room, in our bed; to be fair, this was a better choice than his bed, as his little brother was still settling down to sleep, tossing and turning in his crib, trying to find a comfortable spot to quiet his fast-evolving brain.

Stories had gone on, and, as often happens, the big boy fell asleep in our bed, and there we let him lay, knowing that at some point we’d move him to the room that he shared with his brother.

My wife had long since gone to bed, and I was sitting up, putzing around online, as I do.  All was quiet, dark, still.  I went back and forth between listening to the heater pop, the dog’s neurotic self-grooming and the petite, but loud snore coming from the kid’s bedroom.

I heard a bump in the darkness, just beyond the circle of light of my laptop.

“Hey, son.”

“Daddy, can I have some water?”

“Sure, baby.  And then back to bed.”


I walked to the kitchen, grabbed one of the little plastic kids cup with the colorful gears on it and made my way to the refrigerator, grabbed the gallon of water that we keep on the door and poured my son a couple of fingers of water.

He had deposited himself on the couch, his face planted in the armrest and his butt in the air, knees tucked beneath him.

“Baby, here’s your water.”

“That’s what I wanted.”  He reached for the water, missed, sat up and took it from me.  “Why did you replace it from where I was grabbing it?” he mumbled before taking three long gulps.

I took the glass back, placed it on the dining room table and stroked my son’s hair.  “OK, to the bathroom and then to bed.”

He eventually made it to his room, crawled into bed and grabbed my hand.  “Daddy, would you lay here with me?”

“For a minute, kiddo.”  He pulled the cover up over himself as I reclined in the space between his bed and the crib.

The baby shifted at the movement, babbled in baby sleep-speak, inhaled and began to snore softly.

The big kid’s breathing began to slow to that familiar, deep, sandpaper rasp: in…out…in…out…in…out, like a metronome that’s guiding a distant, budding thunderstorm.

I sat there, listening to the two brothers, their breathing syncopated, like two trains passing in opposite directions over the same rough section of tracks, rhythm and counter-rhythm: a campfire round of little breaths.

Eventually, the little one’s breathing caught up to the big one’s; or perhaps the big one’s slowed to match the little one’s; breathe in, breath out until they blossomed into a beautiful two part harmony.

I sat there for a minute, just listening to the little symphony of life-signs.

Both of my children snore.  As does their dad.  As does their grandmother, and great-grandmother; as did their great-great grandmother.

It’s in their DNA.

17 thoughts on “Absolute Beginners (2)

  1. The sound, and sight, of babies and kids sleeping is so endearing for so many reasons…one being the ability to simply appreciate that sometimes they actually stop their busy lives and allow the entire household to recharge along with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes. Blessed recharging!

      Sometimes, it is (at least for my noggin) a wonderful time to recall them at their tiniest, most purest of self. Tired, Fetal. In the womb. Lovely and perfect.

      Also the recharging.


  2. Nothing better than the sound of your baby sleeping. My 17 year old came home from school the other day and sat on the couch across from my desk (I work from home) which he does frequently so we can see each other and talk and catch up on our lives, and then I looked over and he had laid down and was snoring gently… I sat and just watched him breath for a bit – then snapped a picture and IG’d it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a couple of books that we read to our littlest one, a kind of poem about Daddies and Mommies…there’s a refrain in both of them that says “All Daddies/Mommies love to watch you sleep.”

      It’s true, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A well-written, moving, slice-of-life kinda piece.

    My older brother confessed to me (decades after the fact) that he used to hold my little nose when I was a sleeping baby until my mouth popped open to compensate for the closure. How lovely. Brotherly love? The things we don’t know…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you!

    Indeed, L’il D hasn’t taken to holding his brother’s nose yet (and pray that he never does), but he does complain that his snoring/crying wakes him up in the middle of the night…he complains by waking me up and asking if he can sleep in our bed. Righteous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Sunday Share 20 | All In A Dad's Work

    1. Their snoring makes me happy…it’s like wonderful music for a parent’s ears…you know…so you know they’re still breathing 🙂

      Patient? Nah. I’m just this dude…who…on occasion…has something akin to patience 😀


      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Indeed, with two kids sharing the same room, but not sharing bedtimes, we have to have the older kid start his sleep in our bed…soooo wait for snores…it’s love to getting our bed back!

      Liked by 1 person

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