I wake up to the dreamy sound of our eight-year-old yawning. The irresistible child-of-the-cosmos look on his face instantly releases some primordial cocktail of biochemical adoration inside me. Before I’ve had a chance to wonder what he’s doing in our bed, I pull him in for a hug.
“Ugh,” he groans after a few seconds, wriggling free of my embrace and reaching toward the ceiling. His red and blue Mario Kart pajamas rise over his belly.
My husband—freshly shaven and suited up for work—enters the room.
“Rise and shine!” he calls out, opening the blinds. Light streams in.
Our son collapses face down on the mattress.
“How’d you end up in our bed, anyway?” I ask.
“Bad dream,” he says, the words muffled by a pillow. “I don’t remember it.”
We cuddle for a moment, though I know better than to use the word cuddle out loud. He’s way too old for cuddling. Hugging may be tolerated; cuddling is strictly forbidden.
My husband circles the bed and gives each of us a quick squeeze.
“Have a great day,” he says.
“On purpose,” my son and I respond on cue.
At our son’s elementary school, the principal tells all 148 kids to “have a great day on purpose” over the intercom every morning. We’ve ended up borrowing this cheerful directive and making it a part of our goodbyes.…