Guest Post: A Saturday Morning
Thanks to my longtime friend Anthony Esteves for this creative piece! More about Anthony at the bottom of the post. Enjoy! - Ryan
My eyes slowly open like a quick fade-in at the beginning of a film. They focus on the window to the right. It’s still dark outside, but a slight tint of blue is in the sky as the sun slowly begins its ascent in the East. It’s quiet, which means I have once again awoken before my phone’s alarm has gone off.
It’s Saturday morning.
It’s a sleep-in day, but my brain is automatically programmed to “Dad Mode”. I turn my head slightly to the left, enough to look at the open bedroom door that leads to the hallway. Across from the bedroom, my four year-old boy has a steady, nasal inhale and exhale rhythm. I can imagine his blanket covering him from the waist down. If it were summer, the blanket would be on the ground. However, it’s early December and this house gets cold overnight. To the left, down the hall, I can hear his nineteen month-old brother. He’s breathing through his pacifier-filled mouth, creating a slightly blocked mix of air and saliva. He’s most likely laying on his left side, since his breathing sounds as if it’s directed away from me.
I turn my head further to the left again and I see her; my wife. She’s laying on her right side, facing in my direction. She’s fast asleep, her breathing only making a slight sound through her nose. Her beauty comes so naturally that even as she lays here in slumber, I can’t help but smile at her. Through the wall that our headboard rests against, I can hear our Boxer, faintly snoring in the living room. My entire family seems to be on the same page when it comes to Saturdays: sleep late. I roll onto my right side and attempt to fall back to sleep.
Then, it happens.
I hear it. A sound I’ve heard time and time again. The sound of claws digging into the carpet and pulling up. This occurs five to six times, then stops. There’s a brief silence, but I know it won’t last. I know what’s coming next, no matter how much I hope it won’t. There’s just enough silence to where I think there’s a chance it won’t happen, but there’s no stopping it. It occurs like clockwork. Our Maine Coon let’s out three loud meows. I look up at the wall. The small night light behind my nineteen month-old’s crib creates a beam of light and the silhouette of the crib on it. I see his shadow roll around on this makeshift canvas, like a shadow puppet changing form. Finally, I can make out that he is sitting up, looking toward our bedroom.
And just like that, sleeping-in is out of the question. It’s time to slowly pull back the sheets and rise up. “Dad Mode” has been initiated. Bring on Saturday.
Anthony Esteves is quite a multifaceted being, as he tries to prove so without coming off as narcissistic... tries to. He’s a podcaster, writer, actor, master of ceremonies, licensed reverend (in the state of California), digital media creator, former musician (years ago) and survivor of the retail world. He attempts to do all that while balancing being a husband and father of two energy-filled boys. You can find him on social media under the handle @TheAzoreanOne.