When Tim was still just a bug, he and I played a game we called “Lazybones.” I would sit on the floor cross-legged, Tim would sit in my lap, also cross-legged, and I would begin to sing the Hoagy Carmichael song “Lazybones” with my arms wrapped around him as I rocked forward and back. Before I got to the end of the song, I would push down with my legs, rolling onto my back and sending Tim tumbling over my head, giggling like a madman.
That was it. That was the whole game. I use the term “game” very loosely here. There was just one “rule” that was understood more than it was cut in stone: I always rolled backwards before the end of the song. Sometimes I would roll over after just two or three words, sometimes after singing a dozen words or more. Once, I rolled over after “lazy.” I don’t remember ever singing the whole song without rolling over, but now that I think of it, I’m sorry I didn’t try that when I had the chance.
The longer we played “Lazybones,” the more often Tim would try to straighten his legs, pushing against me to get me to roll over. Every once in a while I’d give in, but most of the time I wouldn’t. It was my prerogative to pick the time we tumbled backward.
“Lazybones” was one of Tim’s favorite games. He asked to play a couple times a week for years. I never said no, because I knew that, one day, he wouldn’t ask. I don’t remember which day that was, because I don’t want to.