By Laura Grimes
“It’s three hours long!” the Small Large Smelly Boy repeated what he had overheard in a low, urgent voice.
It was minutes before curtain at Portland Opera’s Pagliacci/Carmina Burana on Thursday night. I immediately shuffled the pages in the program to confirm it. He was dead right.
This was no small matter, and I could sense the growing unease we both felt. I already knew he was calculating the clock in his head, not only fretting about a long performance where he wasn’t sure what to expect but also what time he would get to bed on a school night.
He gets sleepy mid-evening, puts himself to bed and gets up on his own bright and early in the morning. He doesn’t like after-school activities because they get in the way of his homework. He long ago gave up on me getting him to school because he knows I cut it close. Instead, he shows up 45 minutes before the tardy bell and hangs with his friends. He is never late and is always orderly.
I, on the other hand, fight sleep like a toddler, except every morning. I’m not sure how he came to be my child (and I’m sure he often wonders the same thing), but because of him I totally believe that story about the Virgin Mary.