Are we there yet?” my son Andy cries just as we are pulling out of the driveway. “Are we there yet?’ when we drive up to the McDonald’s take-away window. “Are we there yet?” when we stop at a traffic light. No, not yet. Unable to grasp any estimate I might give him (is an hour short? is a day long?), he fusses, then falls asleep, only to wake up surprised upon our arrival.
“Is it morning yet?” I hear Andy call out from his bedroom. I check the clock: 3:00 a.m. “No,” I say, “it’s still sleep time.” He takes my word for it and goes back to sleep.
“Is it morning yet?” I hear again. Now it is 6:45 on Saturday morning. “No,” I lie. “Well, yes, but it’s early morning, and you can sleep some more.” Andy goes back to sleep.
It’s 8:00 a.m. This extra bit of sleep, gratuitous as it is, makes me think of the refrigerium, or heavenly refreshment, that souls in purgatory are said to enjoy on occasion. I wake Andy up. “Is it morning?” he asks. “Yes!”