The full moon lit the hallway at midnight. I was still half asleep when I stepped out into the hall and was groggily surprised to meet a man with a sword. He was side-stepping, cautiously toward the bathroom; I was just thirsty.
And there was my son, home for Spring Break, armed, and looming tall in the middle of the night, and laughing quietly. Of course.
“It’s in there.” He whispers gesturing with, what I see now is, a wooden kitana. The sword, I notice blearily, has been improved with the addition of a metal ruler clamped to the end of the wooden blade.
“It’s really big and it’s so loud.” He grabbed the flexible ruler and twanged it with a sproing sound. “Aren’t you glad you sent me to college?” He laughed.
Okay, I’m barely awake and not prepared for these kind of deep questions. I just want a drink of water. I kind of don’t want to know what’s loud and threatening in the bathroom at midnight. I don’t know what you plan to do with the sproinging Kitana to subdue the invader.
I decide I’m not equipped to face the upstairs bathroom and whatever has taken up residence and turn to forage downstairs for a drink. It might or might not be water at this point, it’s too weird upstairs.
But, my son is still laughing quietly when I drift back up the stairs. He is poised outside the bathroom holding his hand-crafted distance weapon. But, in his other hand, I see a glass. “It’s a bug.” He whispers.
He’s planned ahead. One hand defends himself from the creepy, loud bug; the other hand is for mercy. He intends to catch and release the bug, whatever it is, into the night.
“Aren’t you glad you sent me to college?”, he asks again. Sproinging his terrifying sword. We both laugh in whispers. I take the cup and he covers me, leaning into the doorway above me. I trap the spooky moth and we release it into the moonlight.
One hand for protection, the other for kindness. Aren’t I glad? Yes, yes I am glad.