Last Friday I returned home to an usually quiet house. Usually Friday nights are a bustle of unGodly noise. The children will be running around with some school friend that is spending the night. The dog will be chasing them barking and snapping at their heels. The TV is on full blast blaring a Hannah Montana video or the latest movie remake of some 80's cartoon- Batman, or Transformers usually. I was a little later than usual, the little hand was just trailing behind 9.
Not wanting to disturb the unusual peace I slipped into the house unnoticed, dropped my bag with a muted thud and slipped out of my sensible kitten heels. I stretched and shook off the days worries. No one was in the kitchen, although the dishwasher hummed on the rinse cycle. The livingroom too was empty, the tv off, toys picked up and put back in their chest. I wondered greatfully up the stairs. All was well. The week had been long and arduous. I was looking forward to a weekend of nothing but kids playing in the backyard while the sprinkler ran, and the bbq grilled every meat and vegetable possible.
The kids rooms were neat and tidy as well. Lola, my 13-year-old, had left her bedroom light on. She did not seem to be home. I rembered that she had a gymnastics party that night. My husband had in a rare turn of events taken the night away from wooing clients and was helping to chaperone the event.
Riley's light was off. I crept up to the room without breathing, not wanting to wake him if he was sleeping. I pushed the door open a crack and it creaked, jarring me, my nanny and my son. Rileys tangle of brown curls had been turned away from me. He was sitting in her lap. Breastfeeding. Riley turns 6 next month.