Last night, I was snuggled into the couch, reading the book I'd assigned my students, while my husband was upstairs putting With-a-Why to bed. Shaggy Hair Boy, who was doing his homework on the computer upstairs, came down and stood with his hand on the bannister, looking at me with the kind of casual look a teenage boy uses when he doesn't want to act excited about something.
"Hey, Mom. Know those tree frogs you like? I think I hear them."
I opened the window behind me, and a rush of cold air came into the room. We both listened. Clouds had moved in earlier, and it had been raining, and the night seemed dark and quiet. But then I heard them – just one or two, singing from the direction of the pond. We looked at each other and smiled.
Today was warmer, a sunny day that brought students out to the picnic tables on the quad. As I was putting With-a-Why to bed tonight, cuddling him and reading him a few chapters of the science fiction book he has already read but wants me to read, I opened the window in the room. This time, I heard a full chorus of peepers, their trilling and singing filling up the darkness.
After we were done reading, I turned out the light. With-a-Why snuggled up against me, then looked out the window at the moon.
"I'll probably wake up and come in with you later, " he said. "The moon'll wake me up."
It's something my youngest child and I have in common. We are both normally sound sleepers but a full moon on a clear night will wake us, filling us with all kinds of middle of the night energy. The night air coming through the window was cold, but I left it open just a crack so that With-a-Why could hear the peepers singing as he drifted off to sleep.