“I wish I could stop time…”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

The little boy was sitting in the middle of the bottom bunk in light blue pajamas, with his knees pulled up to his chin, and he sort of shrugged in response. I gave him some time to think, as I stretched the blanket out on the bed and fit it around his toes when he didn’t move.

“I just mean,” he said into his knees. “I wish sometimes that the clocks would all stop. Just tick tock tick tock Tick…” and he held his breath.

“Okay,” I sat down next to him. “So, you wish our clocks were broken?”

He laughed, “No,” and then he was serious, “No, I wish TIME was broken.”

I pat his shoulder, “Well, time’s already pretty broken.” I leaned back against the wall next to him. “But maybe that’s what you are talking about.”

There was a long silence between us as he continued to hug his knees up to his chest and he stared at his faded Paw Patrol night light across the room. “Wouldn’t it be cool though,” he continued, “if in the afternoon, after cousin Drake was off of work, and he came on the computer and wanted to play games, I could say, ‘Okay, time stop,’ and then it would just be day time forever and we would never have to go to bed or anything?”

“You’d still have to sleep though.”

He shook his head, “I’d sleep in the car, while we ran out to get snacks.”

“Yeah,” I said, “Okay, that’d be pretty cool.”

He yawned, and I pulled him back so his ear rested against my chest and I could feel his wild little boy hair as it tangled up in my beard.

“It would be cool to stop time,” I said again, a short while later, as I slowly lowered him down onto his pillow, and pulled the covers up around his sleeping shoulders.