A rustling sound drifts down the stairway,
alerting me that Little Red is awake.
I hear the thump of still-small feet as they hit the wood floor
then scamper down the hallway,
before meeting up with the carpet of my bedroom
where the noise is snuffed as quickly as a candle.
I wonder how long it will be
until Little Red figures out that I'm not in the warm and cozy bed.
I'm downstairs, hunched over a computer, trying to find some time to myself
before the bustle of four kids and a still-sleepy husband
interrupt my story and force me to place it on hold, for a little while.
It's not long after the first sound
that a light hand snakes around my middle,
a warm forehead snuggles into my side,
and green, still-tired, eyes look up at me.
A shy smile erupts across his face,
causing his freckles to twist and turn against his alabaster skin.
I know what he wants.
I pretend that it's me, and my hugs,
and the scatter of smooches I will press to his forehead.
But I know better.
Because Little Red is an easy-to-read nine-year-old.
He wants an early-morning turn on Minecraft.
It's difficult to compete when you're up against a computer.