Midnight, a thunderstorm. I stood in the hall, watching the clouds explode in the night through the window over the front door. The sky was continuously alight, and yet it was eerily silent. No thunder. And with no electricity, even the house was quiet - there was no hum of fridge or gurgle of fishtank, and this is when Pebbles called out to me.
"Yes, Boo?" The room, of course, was pitch, except for the outline of the window around the shade, which flickered and burst with light.
"If there are no colors, what color is that?"
"Black." I held out my arms and she climbed into them, sweaty and sleepy and mine. I took her back to the window. We watched the storm together, she and I and my husband, who circled the upper floor restlessly, eyeing the towering Jack spruce and pine trees around our home.
The storm moved on and the thunder came, crashing and booming and shaking the house. We checked on her brother - who was snoring - and she smiled. All her life he has been there. He is her best friend, her worst enemy, and the yardstick by which she measures herself. He does things without her - school, sports, sleepovers - but seldom does she have experiences that he does not. I watched her take this one and tuck it away for sharing the morning. In our bedroom I opened the drapes and we climbed into the big bed, where we cuddled watched the lightning until our eyes wouldn't stay open any more.
So I'm sleepy today, and I wouldn't change a single thing.