Late One Night

“I want McDonalds,” came Danny’s voice down the stairs.

“You can’t have McDonalds right now, Danny,” followed Eric’s voice softly. “It’s late. McDonalds is closed.”

It was over an hour past bed time, but still talking and laughter came from their room. When I put Andrew to bed and walked past their open door, Eric sat on his top bunk reaching down, and Danny stood below waving and giggling. I knew I should put an end to it and shoo them into bed…but it was hard to do.

See, when I found out I was having a second boy, I imagined late nights in bunk beds with two brothers talking, whispering jokes, teasing and laughing. Once Danny was born and we learned he was deaf, I thought I had to give that up. How could you sign while in separate bunks? We learned about cochlear implants and I worried a little – I mean, he’d sleep with them off – but maybe he’d keep them on long enough…

Then the “other” crept in, the missing social piece, the difficulty speaking, the global delays. With each little bit of the “other,” I saw those bunk bed conversations drift away.

By now, they were a distant memory, almost forgotten and well left behind…

…until I heard those voices drifting. So I let them go on a little longer than I should have, simply because it made me smile.

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