I’d hoped to add a new tab for previous notes and posts, but WordPress taunts me. Ahh well, rather than get my knickers in a twist about it being set up in a perfect way, I’m just doing it this way. The essence is here, even if the form didn’t turn out. This little train of thought originally left the station on January 16th, 2010.
My son has been wanting to sleep with me lately. He wakes up in his dark room and, as he tells me, just feels so lonely. The wind howls around that corner sometimes, where his room is, so he bears it as long as he can, but he decides sleep is done.
So, something scratches me out of sleep – and in that gray area between sleep and awake, I hear footsteps. Dog? No. No clickety clack of claws on hardwood. Cat? No. That bugger is stealthy, so not him. I realize devil cat is sleeping on my feet. My boy? No. Asleep. So what is this sound? Then, that icy dread and terror, thinking someone has made it into your home and you mentally run through every scenario – or as in my state, realizing the flashlight is in reach….and that’s a damn heavy flashlight.
Then something touches my comforter on the other side of the bed and I am upright and alert, only to see in the dim light my boy is actually out of bed. In fact, Bear is tucking a stuffed animal version of a baby penguin into the empty side of my bed – head on pillow and covers being pulled up.
“Oh, Hi mom,” he whispers.
“What are you doing, buddy?”
“I woke up and thought you’d be lonely so I brought you Pengy. Then you wont be lonely”
He stands there, waiting for my response. I can make out his small shape and hear him breathing. He has a question that he’s not asking out loud, but he’s still waiting for my answer – hoping I’ve heard him.
“Bear, You want to sleep here tonight?”
His answer is to jump in the bed and snuggle up into the pillow. “I love you, mom,” he says.
“I love you too, Bear.”
He is a sleep in mere seconds. He takes long slow breaths. I rest my hand on his chest for moment – Checking his heartbeat? Like I’m not sure if it’s beating or something? He’s not a tiny infant in the crib anymore.
I’m pondering the true deep sleep vs the perpetual alert system he kicked on at birth. I’d been dreaming pretty solid, but that radar kicked in and pulled me out of a dream and said pay attention.
Mothers don’t really sleep 100% when the children are in the house. Hell, I don’t think any mother ever sleeps 100% again after a newborn enters her life. I can’t speak for fathers, but I cannot imagine it’s any better for them. That internal alert system is activated within minutes of the child joining our life. For me, it was when I came to after the c-section. The second I felt that weight in my arms, I never slept 100% again. Even in the “deepest” of slumbers, I listen for my child, or for anything that could harm him. Even if he is across town. It never shuts down. It isn’t worry – it’s something else.
I’ve lost a little sleep with the hazy-danger-turning-out-to-be-Pengy scenario. As I am drifting away thinking about sleep, scary footsteps, then back to sleep. Each thought is hazier than the last. Bear snores and talks a little in his sleep, sometimes even sings, and so he revives my train of thought every few minutes. Sleep is coming, and my last thought suddenly comes into crystal clear focus: Every heartbeat, every sigh, the talking, singing, and the little murmurs. This is so worth it. I don’t care if I never sleep right again. I wouldn’t trade this ruckus for a lifetime of deep slumber.