“Wait,” he says, pulling my face close to his “are you older than other moms?”
I equivocate: “older than some; younger than others.”
“Why aren’t you younger?”
Oh, the stories. I tell one. Or two.
He’s stalling, wanting bedtime to last just a few more minutes. “Maybe three more minutes,” he suggests.
“Maybe now,” I brush my nose against his.
“Did you sing all three songs?” He’s hopeful.
“Maybe you should do four.”
“Your bedtime was five minutes ago.”
He snuggles closer. “How old will you be when I am ten?”
We do the math.
“So when I’m 20…” He does the math.
“Will you have a baby when you are young so I can play with my grandchildren?” I tease.
He is serious, “I don’t know about that yet.”
We do the math. If he has a baby when he is 25, I will be the same age as his grandmother is now when his baby is eight, like him. It’s a lot of numbers.
He frets, “I just don’t know.”
Then he brightens, “If you want to be the best, just change the scale.”
“Just say, ‘what am I out of two?’ then if you are a one that’s still second from the top. So that’s good. Nearly the best.”
I’m still catching up, but now he’s drifting off.
“Or you could say ‘what am I out of 0?’ and then you would always be the best. Because there’s only one number.” He’s nearly asleep, murmuring over the numbers, measuring something his old mother can’t count.
“You’re the best out of all the numbers. The right boy for me.”
And my number boy has fallen asleep.