It's Tuesday. An empty bowl, spoon, and cup are set out, ready, and waiting. Well past eight o'clock their intended owner slowly descends the steps, leaving his warm bed to claim them. I pour cereal, dry, without milk. He prefers it this way.
He has not been sleeping well for the past three to four nights, as his body fights off illness. The other children have eaten long ago, right after my husband left for work, leaving this sleepy youngster all by himself.
He prays, and then asks me for music.
I walk to the CD player.
He joins me.
I turn it on.
He turns the volume up.
I turn it down a bit.
He coughs, and walks back to the table.
Climbing back into his chair he begins fumbling with his cereal, alternating fingers and spoons for each mouthful. He crunches the crisp, apple flavored circles slowly.
I pour another cup of coffee, add some sugar, and join him while he eats.
"Why did you take down the stuff on that tree?" He points at the tree we use for Easter.
"The Easter ornaments?" I ask, tracing the mug handle with one finger.
"Yes, why did you take them down?" Last month the tree held many ornaments for Easter, depicting the scenes we read from The Gospel of Mark.
"I took down the ornaments because Easter is over." I answer, and take another sip of sugary, black coffee. I yawn. These past few nights tending him has taken a toll on my energy level.
"No, it's not," he states. Fingering another apple flavored circle, he moves it about his bowl. I watch as he selects another to eat.
"Yeah, honey, Easter is over." I explain the holiday has passed.
"No, it's just the beginning."
I wait for him to explain, but he's eating that one cereal piece, and he chews it slowly as he scans the bowl for another. Without selecting another, he picks up his spoon, and pushes it deep into the cereal, covering it partially. He looks up from his bowl. Our eyes meet.
He is ready to explain.
"It's just the beginning, because Jesus is alive. It's Easter forever."
He triumphantly throws an arm in the air, and repeats,
"It's Easter FOREVER!"