This is how M&M roll when Jon is away. Stay up way too late and fall asleep – only after eating ice cream sandwiches and watching a cheesy Nickelodeon show – on the couch, sprawled out with dad’s fleece blankets covering them.
I carry them upstairs when I decide to hit the hay. Maria wraps her arms around me and always mumbles some unintelligible words as I trek up the stairs. Then I plop her on her bed, cover her up with her three blankets, and kiss her goodnight. Sometimes she smiles at me.
Mario always jerks when I first pick him up but then realizes it’s me and melts his upper body into mine. I lay him in my bed and he scoots himself to the very edge until he’s almost hanging off, and then reaches for the covers. I lay them over his shoulders and kiss him goodnight. His mouth relaxes into a tiny oval shape – just the perfect nest to lay a robin’s egg – and I stare at him as I lay on my pillow with the moon’s light shining through the window. His breath is a lullaby and I fall quickly to sleep.

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