As The Office was winding down tonight, I noticed Delton’s foot peeking behind the railing of our stairs. If he doesn’t fall asleep right away, he looks at his books for a while, then sneaks out of his room and sits on the steps. We almost always know he’s there, and a stern, “Delton, go to bed” is usually enough to send him back.
Since we already tried that once or twice tonight, I moved on to step 2, which involves marshaling him back to his bed and sometimes laying with him for a few minutes. Usually, my head + pillow = instant sleep, but since I wanted to watch 3o Rock, I tried to keep my eyes open.
Silhouetted by the dim light coming through his cracked door, I noticed he was making gestures with his hands in the air and mumbling something. I start copying him to see if I can figure out what the heck he’s doing, and this somehow morphed into an impromptu game of rock-paper-scissors.
I showed this to him and Julia some weeks ago, but in explaining the rules again tonight, I stumbled on an important lesson. Because he was waiting for me to throw first, I told him we had to make our choice at the same time: “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.”
As I begin to ponder the profoundness of that statement, he pulls up the covers and turns his back to me in the darkness. “Dad, let’s just go to sleep now.”
Sometimes I win.