Matthew: 1, 2, 3, 4............94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99.......hmmmm.....Tenty. Tenty-One, Tenty-Two, Tenty-Three......uhhhh....ELEVENTY...Eleventy-One, Eleventy-Two.....Twelvty...Twelvty-One, Twelvety-Two...LUKE, there are Twelvety-TWO constellations on the ceiling!!!
Matthew: There are TWELVETY-TWO stars and constellations. That's a LOT of stars. The reason you've never heard of that number is because it's so BIIIIIIGGG!
Downstairs, Mark and I sat rapt and grinning as our firstborn counted himself sleepy. So cute, we said, puffing up with parental pride. But when he began winding himself into a number-counting frenzy, I urged Mark to go on up and settle him down - we have a big travelling day tomorrow and as entertaining as the show was, the boy needed to sleep.
Up Mark went, ushering both boys back into their respective beds, tucking them in. Matthew asked for "the Counting Game, explaining to Luke that "me and Daddy played this game when I was four, like you!"
Mark: Two plus two equals?
Mark: Four plus four equals?
Mark: Eight plus eight equals?
Mark: Sixteen plus sixteen equals?
Mark: Thirty-two. Thirty-two plus thirty-two equals...
And so it went until Mark got somewhere near 4000 at which point Matthew yelled, "Pi!!! That's my favourite part!"
Downstairs, I giggled helplessly, enchanted by the sheer pleasure in his voice and the fact that he and Daddy have a special Counting Game that I knew nothing about.
As soon as Mark left the room Matthew began the Counting Game on his own, getting stuck at 16 plus 16.
For almost 8 minutes (yes, I timed it) he counted from one - over and over and over again - struggling to get past 16, but never quite managing it. He ended up at 26, instead of 32, as he was - I imagine - counting on his fingers.
Finally, on the heels of one giant yawn, he proclaimed that 26 was indeed the right number.
Matthew: Yep, it's 26! 26.....yep.......26......I'll do 26 plus 26 in the morning, OK Luke? Right now, I need to get some rest. I'm a tired boy."
Downstairs, grinning through my proud tears, I thought, "For these moments, I am so thankful."
And then sleepily, from the monitor: "I am so proud of you, Matthew." (Matthew, deepening his voice to mimic Mark's)
Matthew: "Thanks Dad, I'm proud of you, too."
Downstairs, eyes welling, grin widening, I began counting, too. Counting my blessings:
"98, 99...Tenty. Tenty-One, Tenty-Two, Tenty-Three...."
And you? Have you counted your blessings today?
Happy Thanksgiving, All!