Early afternoon sunlight splashed golden puddles on the couch, turning the brown to rust. The house was remarkably quiet. My kindergartner and my niece sat beside me in a sunlight puddle listening to me read. It was a riveting story about a tin soldier. (Who probably didn't have rivets, but wore a brave red jacket and loved a paper ballerina.)
The sunshine warmed our little group and I found myself sinking lower into the cushions of my comfortable couch.
I turned the page. Now the soldier was drifting down an underground river with worrisome-looking floaties on a boat made of paper. My son and niece were enthralled. It was so quiet.
My blinks got a little bit longer, but my mouth still said the words printed on the page. I snuggled a little deeper.
Page turn. The tin man was swallowed by a fish, but he never lost heart.
My blinks got longer. I was now forced to pause the flow of my words occasionally when my eyes couldn't immediately pick up where they'd left off, or the darkness of the blink lasted slightly too long.
During one of these mini-naps I heard "solid packed dirt" come out of my mouth. When my eyes opened, I looked for the words I'd said so I could continue the story that had us all spellbound. It took a while for me to realize those words weren't on the page. What the H?
Where had they come from? Did I have a mini-dream to go with my mini-nap?
"Mom, keep reading!"
With leg bouncing to keep awake, and only two more nods, I finished the story as steadfastly as my tin soldier, before flopping over and letting my eyes stay closed.
Sweet, sweet, sw... zzzzzz