The woman in the bed is half awake. Maybe half asleep. It's hard to tell. I come to her side of the bed while I pull bib short bracers over my shoulders. I lean over, kiss her cheek and put my hand on her thigh in a hurried half-carress/rub. Across the room at my dresser, I pull out a wool jersey and slide it over my goose-pimpled torso. Through the open pocket doors and left at the top of the stairs, I lean in close to the mirror over the bathroom sink. Holding my eyelids open with both middle fingers, I use my right forefinger to place the tiny lenses carefully in my eyes. Finding it where I left it the night before, I take the heart rate monitor from the dresser top to the bathroom and run it under water. I pull my jersey up to the top of my rib cage and thread the strap between the bib bracers and my body.
She's still half asleep. Or half awake, or whatever.My phone begins to vibrate and play a repetitive series of tones, a repeat performance from ten minutes before when I was still in bed, this time for her benefit. I walk around the bed, silence it and turn to the sleeping form, blankets up to her ears. My eyes drift to the small shape laying on my side of the bed. Her eyes are open. She rolls over, turns and arches her back to see her mother is still asleep. Whispering mischievously to the large sleeping form next to her, she drapes her whole body over the side of it's hip. Twisting and craning her neck from it's place on the pillow, lifts her right arm and peers through her armpit passed her elbow, looking at our daughter through one sleep encrusted eye. The child looks up through my wife's armpit making eye contact and squeals in delight holding on tighter to her hip and waist. I laugh too as I reach for each of their armpits. They retreat from the bed quickly.