Sleep Moments

There is nothing quite like a Sleeping Through The Night night…especially after weeks of stumbling out of bed again and again to stop bleeding noses, dose babies in pain, and offer water or change diapers because you don’t know what else to do to try to diagnose what caused the waking.

I woke up at 5:12 and thought, It’s late. Nobody’s cried tonight. Did I sleep through the night?

I’m so dazed, I don’t know what to write about this morning. So in honor of a full night’s sleep following the second of three antibiotic shots (please God, tell me we’re coming out of this at last!), I’ll share my favorite sleep moments from the last several years:

Asleep in the window 2

Julianna asleep in the open window frame

N. asleep on floor

Nicholas asleep on the kitchen floor after Mass on Sunday morning

Alex sleeping in chair

Sir “I don’t need no stinking Nap” Alex

Julianna asleep at Pizza Hut in Hannibal

You know it was a good field trip when she conks out on the table at Pizza Hut

Daddy and Julianna, age 3 weeks

Now there’s a blast from the past…Julianna at age 3 weeks. Just before the RSV scare that nearly killed her.

Headless Doll

A headless doll, just for fun

100_4418One of my favorite sleep pictures EVER: Alex, age 2, discovered in the dark with these books, “Bad Kitty” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

Christmas 2012 053

And Michael, sleeping on top of his blankets. He still does this. The blue crocheted one is his pillow, the green one is his body pillow.

Hope you enjoyed!

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 8:05 am  Comments (6)  
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The Timer

Photo by *hiro008, via Flickr

It’s 1:15 when the last door upstairs closes. I hear her patter down the stairs, one to fourteen, landing lightly on Pergo. Afternoon sunlight glows on dirty dishes; the floor at my feet is a mine field of plastic bags, the spoils of the morning’s Target run. She surveys the mess, then looks longingly at the office…and the couch.

Come on, girl. You know you need this. I heard how many times you were up last night.

She picks her way among the bags, and I cheer. Reaching across the glass surface, she presses a button, and I obligingly begin counting upward. At twenty, her finger lifts.

No way. That’s not nearly enough.

She makes a face; she knows that as well as I do. But there’s so much to do–the assignments that tap out from beneath her fingers, the music that’s due in a week, the mess in the kitchen… I watch her waffle; at last, she punches in another thirteen minutes. Thirty-three minutes. Three to fall asleep, thirty to nap.

I start the count: twenty-nine. Go on. Get over there and lie down. You don’t know when that baby’s gonna wake up again.

She takes a drink from a big hospital mug, grabs a few sheets of paper and tosses them in the recycling–halfhearted attempts to split the difference between rest and housecleaning. Then she flings herself across the couch, burying her eyes beneath a pillow.

Twenty-eight minutes. She’s having trouble getting to sleep; the breathing is all wrong.  She’s thinking about what she’s going to do when she gets up.

Twenty-six minutes. The phone rings. She punches it on and back off without answering–must have been one of those 800 number calls. Twenty-five.

At twenty-four minutes, her breathing slows; the house settles into a quiet it rarely sees during daylight hours: the soft ticking of the wall clock, the refrigerator’s hum, the low rumble and tumble of the dryer upstairs. I wish I could slow the relentless countdown, but I can’t; my reliability is the only reason she trusts me. Twenty minutes. Fifteen. Ten. Upstairs, a child rolls over, its feet thumping the walls. I tense, but the slow, even breaths don’t change. She must be tired. Five minutes. Three. One. Now we’re counting seconds…three…two…one..

Beeep. Beeep. Beeep.

She takes a deep breath, stirs, and groans. Nap time is over.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

**

To my regular (non-Write-On-Edge) readers, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this prompt; it seemed pretty far outside of what I would normally write. But Christian encouraged me to try, and since the heavyweight stuff yesterday didn’t seem as interesting, I figured, What the hey? Hope you don’t mind. :)

Published in: on January 24, 2012 at 8:56 am  Comments (17)  
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Too Much Of A Good Thing (a Unisom story)

Let Sleeping Children Lie

Image by stewickie via Flickr

I should have known it couldn’t last. Frankly, I didn’t even really believe it would work. After all, I wasn’t actually taking it to help me sleep…though Heaven knows, I could use it! No, this little blue (generic) (Walgreen’s) pill was part of a cocktail to ease third trimester nausea. I didn’t want to drug myself, so I suffered through two extra days after the doctor told me to try it before giving in.

Nothing has ever knocked me out the way that tiny pill did. I slept from 9:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m., post-time-change. Nine hours in bed? Me? Madame I-function-on-five-hours-of-sleep-a-night? I slept through the night? (Well, except for that time Nicholas woke up wailing, and Christian would not wake up. “Oh, for crying out loud!” I snapped as I hauled my pregnant body out of bed. “I’m the one who took a sleeping pill!”)

At 5:30 I went downstairs and turned on the computer. While it warmed up I went over to the couch…and conked out again.

It was a single parenting day…Christian had the mother of all announcements coming out at work in the afternoon, so he went to early Mass and returned home to find that I had dressed and fed the kids…and gone back to sleep.

I had to lead the choir. From the piano. The queasiness was somewhat better, but that sleepiness…wow. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through Mass without toppling off the bench.

With help from an obliging alto, I got the kids to the van and back home. In a fog I put lunch on the table. Answered Christian’s phone call. “Is it possible this is the Unisom still making me feel this way?” I said blearily.

Pause. “Oh, crap,” he said. “I’m not going to be home till at least 6:30.”

I hauled myself up the stairs after the little ones, muscled them down for naps. “Alex, you can play computer games,” I said, and collapsed into bed. And woke up an hour and a half later. Mustered the energy to make the first fresh meal in four days. I didn’t have the energy for a side dish. I offered microwave popcorn instead. And a movie.

Christian walked in at 7p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the fog finally began to clear.

Ah, Unisom. My one and only one-night stand. It was nice knowing you. Or not.

Just Write      Write on Edge: RemembeRED
Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 4:17 am  Comments (22)  
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The Hardest Naptime I Ever Came By

2 kittens taking a nap

Image via Wikipedia

They were doing so well.

So far, they’ve braved a two-hour trip in a car with windows they can’t see out of; they told me when they needed bathroom breaks; they ate well in an unfamiliar house, tag-teamed their catnaps in the car, and tolerated an unexpectedly long wait at the doctor’s office.

Now, at 4p.m., we head for a meeting with my editor to discuss a possible future project. We sit in the tiny cafeteria at the front of Dierbergs and wait. I try to find room in the booth for snack boxes of raisins spread on napkins, a giant bag of books and toys, my NEO, and the stack of napkins I’m using in place of Kleenex.

“Hi!” says my editor brightly. We do introductions, the kids show off their fast-dwindling stack of raisins, and the meeting begins.

Here’s what I had in mind.

Here’s what we already have. What do you think?

Yes, they do look awfully similar, don’t they?

Yes, picture books get expensive.

Nicholas runs out of raisins. I get out the crayons.

What about this idea? Or this one?

Can you clarify? I’m not sure I’m following, with my daughter pulling napkins out of the napkin holder on the table. I set it up on the ledge to get it out of reach.

Well, it could be a resource for children, to go with our adult series…

CRASH. The napkin holder attempts to gouge the Formica, entombing my daughter’s hand within the crater. A quick examination reveals no harm done. I push the napkin holder toward Nicholas, who seems pretty mellow on the other side of the table. Julianna tries to climb over me to get out of the booth. I keep talking, but I sound increasingly out of breath as my pregnant body tries and fails to keep up with the energy of 4 ½.

…books selling well… Distributors…preorders…

The gratifying sensation that attempts to puff up my insides implodes as my daughter climbs over the back of the booth and slips into the aisle. I do a quick cost-benefit analysis and decide to give her a short leash. She walks up to a deli worker on his break. He’s trying to read Facebook on his phone; she places a cute little hand on his leg and smiles adorably into his face. “I’m so sorry,” I say, leaping up to drag her back. I pull out three books from the bag. She rejects them in quick succession. Nicholas puts his raisin-crusted hand on my editor’s shoulder and leans in to say, “Batman!”

What about Ordinary Time? I pull two pages out of the coloring book and set the crayon box between the two of them. That could incorporate several of these ideas, don’t you think?

Yes, that sounds possible.

SCREAM. Julianna doesn’t WANT to color on a ripped-out page, she wants the BOOK.

I’m so sorry, they haven’t really had naps, they’re  usually much better-behaved.

Oh, they’re fine. Now about this column…I think your point starts here, and I think that’s what you want to use for an opening.

Yes, that makes sense. Actually, I’m going on faith that it makes sense, because mostly what I know is that Julianna has climbed over the booth again. She makes a beeline for her interrupted conquest. This time she climbs up opposite him and places both arms on the table, giving him her winningest smile. I don’t know whether to be defeated by her charm or come down hard on her. I drag her back again. This time she screams the whole way.

Well, I think that about covers it.

Yes, thanks for being willing to drive up here…I can’t even imagine how they’d behave if we had to drive down to you today!

Oh, they’re fine.

We pack up the scattered books, crayons, toys and papers. I shove one bag over each shoulder and attempt to hold my children’s hands to walk out the door. Simultaneously, they pull that toddler trick where they simply refuse to stand up, so you’re faced with the dilemma of dragging them along by their arms, possibly dislocating shoulders in public, or you have to come up with some other method of discipline. Frankly, I’m not sure how we get to the car, because the instant they see where we’re headed, the screaming begins in earnest. Sweating, I somehow wrestle everyone and everything into place, lock restraints, and make it onto the highway.

Fifteen seconds later, blissful silence reigns in the back seat. At 5p.m., it is naptime at last.

On In Around button

Published in: on October 3, 2011 at 4:49 am  Comments (9)  
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Why I’m Obsessed With Sleep

When you’re pregnant, the standard question of greeting—you know, “How are you?”—takes on a whole new meaning. There’s a different inflection to it. Sometimes it’s even worded differently: “How are you feeling?” I know that people aren’t asking the polite question; they’re asking the polite question about pregnancy. In the first trimester, they’re really asking if I have morning sickness.

Well, it’s hard to say, because I’m sick, and I can’t tell if the blahs are viral or gestational. Lately, my response to the question has been, “Tired. Very tired.”

Sleep and I have never been good friends. Christian goes to sleep in thirty seconds; I lie awake for at least half an hour every single night, and often much longer. I’ve always had trouble getting to sleep—I used to have long conversations with God while staring up at the stars out the north window of the house, or “pretending.” There have been times when irrational panic kept me awake. When I was working full time, I often stayed awake wound up about work—especially after choir practice.

But nothing has screwed up my sleep rhythm as much as parenthood.

Oh, here she goes, you think: off on a “sleeping through the night is a myth” tangent. Well, that’s part of it. But even that would be far less disruptive if I was like my husband, going right back to sleep.

The first major sleep disruption began when Alex was six months old. I was supposed to drive toKansas Cityto pick up my cousin from the airport, and the night before, I simply could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned for hours, getting up to nurse, almost dropping off, getting yanked back from the edge…there’s nothing so torturous as paying attention to the process of falling asleep, let me tell you. At 2:30 in the morning, I still had not slept. At 5, I was in a panic; there was no way I could drive safely. I hadn’t slept even a single minute. The world was a haze of fog. I called my parents crying, and my mom went toKansas Citywith me as a backup driver.

That was early fall. By first frost, it was happening with alarming regularity. I was in a panic. I was overwrought, biting people’s heads off for no reason (in particular Christian’s). I felt so out of control, and so tired all the time. Thank God I only had one child, and him nursing; we would lie down on the bed to nurse, and I’d fall asleep with him, so that mitigated the useless nights. A doctor told me to try Benadryl, but that seemed to intensify the “I’m-tired-can’t-drop-off” effect. At last, they put me on an anti-anxiety med, first for sporadic use, but by late January, a nightly dose.

I don’t remember how long it took for me to clear this phase of my life. It passed, and from it I learned the psychological value of a change of venue. In other words, the couch. For some reason, I could get to sleep on the couch when I couldn’t get to sleep in bed. Something about the way I could mummify myself in the cushions. So I learned not to be heroic; if I was having trouble getting to sleep, I’d just go to the couch and spend the night there. (When we went to replace that couch, you’d better believe this was part of why it took us 6 months to pick one. And we didn’t get rid of the old couch until I’d slept a dozen nights on the new one, and made sure it would do the trick!)

The “aha” moment didn’t come until Julianna was eight or nine months old, and I happened across a tidbit in a magazine, informing me that postpartum depression can pop up any time in the first year, and isn’t always characterized by feelings of sadness. Among the possible symptoms? Sleeplessness. Aaargh! I wanted to take that article and shake it in my doctor’s face.

Kids do still get me up at night. It goes in waves; they’ll sleep through for a while, and then they’ll get up every night for a few weeks. Julianna got me up 7 times in 6 hours a couple of weeks ago. But I was enjoying a refreshing stretch of good sleep…until the day I found out I was pregnant. And now? Well, currently I’m having more trouble with the day starting too early: at 3:50 a.m. I wake up, and I cannot get back to sleep. It’s maddening.

So yes, I’m pregnant. And yes, I’m tired. But if I ever seem obsessed with the subject of sleep, now you know why.

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 4:50 am  Comments (6)  
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7 Quick Takes: The Sleep Deprivation Edition

Before I begin, I need to be clear: the following post is not a complaint, and should not be taken as such. As a matter of fact, I’ve been unusually patient this week. (Maybe Lent is “taking”?) But Fridays are my chance to record the good, the bad and the ugly of our life—my “Journaling” day, so to speak—and this has been our life this week. I’ve said many times that sleeping through the night is a myth. New parents don’t want to hear that, but as evidence, I present: 7 Quick Takes…the Sleep Deprivation Edition.

___1___

Sunday: I spend the day engrossed in Abby Johnson’s book Unplanned, a memoir of her conversion from director of a Planned Parenthood clinic to prolife advocate. I admit I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a very interesting read, a very personal story, without far-reaching political rhetoric, and I couldn’t stop reading. Consequently, I was fifteen pages from the end when bedtime came, and I lay awake until past midnight feeling wound up about the unresolved questions. Oh yes, and then twice as I was just about to drop below the threshold of sleep, Julianna woke up wailing.

___2___

Monday: a very mild thunderstorm moves through the area, with nice growly thunder, nothing scary…but by some stroke of extreme bad luck, Alex wakes up. He then comes into our room and whimpers that he wants to get in bed with us.

___3___

Tuesday: Nicholas takes his turn, waking up three times asking the air for “wa wa wa wa.” Mommy, more than anything, is thankful that she was awakened by some semblance of speech instead of wordless crying. But waking is waking no matter how it happens. We get water, we wipe runny noses, we go back to bed.

___4___

Wednesday: It’s a late night, as always after choir practice, and the kids are already tired because nap schedule got rearranged around sleeping on the bus and a visit from cousins (but aren’t they sweet?). I’m combing Julianna’s hair out and it’s a mess—she gets more food in her lovely locks than any child I’ve ever seen—and she is screaming. Not crying, not protesting—I’m talking blood-curdling screams. And when she’s done, I hear the rasp in her throat, indicating a long night ahead. Sure enough, when Nicholas wakes up (crying, not speaking) and I go in, Julianna’s breathing has taken on the “stridor” pattern that in times past guaranteed a hospital visit. But our experience at New Year’s has taught me to be a little less paranoid. Nonetheless, I decide that the wisest course of action is to get the vaporizer running. Only I can’t find it. It is in neither of the places it has been stored in the 3 ½ years we’ve been living here.

___5___

So Christian gets a wakeup call. Fortunately he knows where he put it, so I fill it up and get it running. But by now I’m wide awake at 1:30 a.m. I’m so tired that I don’t lie awake all night, but I lose more than half an hour in the middle of the night, and when the alarm goes off at 5:30, I almost can’t drag myself out of bed to go walking. (Walking, not running, because spring has skidded downward into freezing temps again.)

___6___

Thursday morning: Bonus round. Both little ones are sick; Julianna perks up enough to be sent to school, but her teachers say she’s clearly not herself, and Nicholas is like a cuddly, whiny growth on me. He must stay within six inches of Mommy, and preferably touching me. As any mom knows, this is not conducive to productivity, in particular housecleaning, and it wears the nerves as well. I figured we’d lie down on the couch together and maybe we’d both get a cat nap. Nope. He’s just an unhappy child. He’s not interested in anything I suggest till I give up and suggest a video. Then, at last, he’s hooked. I put on the trains and retreat to do some writing, and then I look up and see this:

Which means, of course, that I have tag teaming nappers, and by dinnertime, a tantrum-throwing two-year-old. Oh, yes, it was a fun evening. But we finally tipped the scales, and last night every last blessed one of us slept through!

___7___

On the other hand, Thursday was also “Letter Person Day” for kindergarteners at Alex’s school. He dressed up as Mr. Z, “zipping zippers.” OK, one two three, in chorus, say “Awwwwww…..”

___Bonus Take!___

I leave you with a quote that applies in all the above situations as well as whatever you’re experiencing today, good or bad. “I believe that if Sunday doesn’t lead us to Monday–with an awareness of God in all creation and that our mission and purpose are to love all people–then we may need to rethink what we are singing, how we are singing, and why we are singing.” John Angotti, in Pastoral Music, March 2011 issue.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 5:45 am  Comments (4)  
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Heavenly Peace

I hurry up the stairs, en route to some vitally unimportant and ultimately forgettable task…and I’m caught by an angelic glow at the end of the hallway, in Alex’s room, where Julianna is sleeping…

I tiptoe in, my heart squeezing at the sight of “heavenly peace” … her hair fanned out on the pillow, half darkened with sweat, half glowing golden in the afternoon sunlight…

I could sit here beside the bed all day, breathing in the aura of restful slumber, stroking silky hair and nuzzling soft cheeks.

Those hands, so awkward and unskilled even now, hands she is nonetheless determined to use to do things by herself…as skinny and small as she is, those hands are so chubby and chewy…

I smile and chuckle at the chocolate-crusted face, which rescues an utterly cherubic image from too much perfection, grounds the moment in reality. I could gladly perch beside the bed, rest my head, and let her untroubled breathing gather me in, drawing me below the threshold of sleep. 

But I came up here for some purpose…what was it, again, I was supposed to be doing up here?

Oh yes. I remember now. I was supposed to be waking her up from nap.

And so I nuzzle her cheek, breathe the aura of heaven, kiss her fingers, her palm, until she stirs and the cherubic innocence of her face twists into annoyance, and silent vocal cords begin to protest. And then I gather her up and snuggle her against me. And for this moment, for this moment of soul rest between one noisy, chaotic motherhood task and another, I thank God.

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Published in: on December 30, 2010 at 5:46 am  Comments (5)  
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Starstruck

When I was growing up, my bedroom faced north, toward the pond and the gentle swell of a hayfield. And the chicken yard, which meant that any time a raccoon got into the henhouse, I was the one who raised the alert. No wonder I’m such a light sleeper.

I don’t know at what point it happened, but I discovered the beauty of that view, a beauty ever changing, depending on weather and time of day and season. I shoved my bed up in the corner, and from then on I did everything stretched out across the bed, where I could look outside: homework, Journaling, spinning stories. At night, I shoved my pillow in the window frame and watched the sun set, then rolled over and pressed my head against the screen so that I could see as many of the stars as possible. And that was how I fell asleep: listening to the sound of the crickets amid the clover and foxtails.

I also took to having long philosophical discussions with no one, a narrative of my day, and all the people in it. I learned to analyze my own reactions and feelings, and came to new insights. I’m not sure at what point I realized I was praying, not just spouting opinions at the sky. I was actually seeking, in those seemingly one-way conversations with the stars.

A teenager doesn’t place a lot of value on listening prayer. And yet, as I learned the shapes of the constellations, saw them shift through the year, and sent my words winging toward them, stillness crept over me, a stillness that finally succumbed to sleep. And of all the beautiful memories of my childhood, that sense of stillness, which always came on as I grew close to sleep at last, is preeminent among them. It was a stillness of the earth—of insects chirping and coyotes howling and bullfrogs pulsing their low, laid-back grunts. It was a stillness unbroken by human noise, except when an occasional car rumbled down the road in a thick cloud of dust. There were many times when, in the throes of some adolescent moral quandary, I remember envying the simple placidity of the singers’ existence.

I suppose I am thinking of it today, in this very early morning, because we slept with the windows open last night. In the wake of a cold front, the interstate noise succumbed to distance, and all I heard was that familiar hum and pulse of nature, the soundtrack of my childhood. This morning, of course, the traffic noise is back, but all through the night I woke repeatedly, just long enough to reassure myself that the stillness still pulsed outside my window.

I dream of someday returning to a remote place where I never have to listen to jet braking and tires squealing and the incessant roar of humanity. A place where I can once again shove my pillow into the window frame and stare up at the vastness of the universe.

But today, as the sky begins to lighten on this, my thirty-sixth birthday (see, I’mnot afraid of sharing my age), it’s time to seek ot the holy in a different place. One that involves very little stillness or serenity, but an awful lot of sweetness.

In other words, time to rouse the munchkins for school.

Shared at On, In, and Around Mondays

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (15)  
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WFMW: Sleeping Through the Night is a Myth

Once again, my baby is proving to me that sleeping through the night is a myth. Some families may get lucky, but by and large, if your kid sleeps through the night, you’d better enjoy it while you can, because it’s not going to last. And whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances…” TALK ABOUT IT!

On Monday night, Christian climbed into bed and said, “Hey, Nicholas hasn’t been up at night in a while, has he?”

I pinched my lips shut and said, “Umm…I’m not answering that.”

But the damage was done. That night it was three wakings. I patted him briefly the first two and ignored him the third, and he whimpered and fussed softly until he went back to sleep.

And then there was last night. At 1:20 a.m. he woke up shrieking. I got him out of bed, because he’d fallen on his head earlier in the evening and I was a little freaked out. So he got a pass that time, and snuggled back to sleep on Mommy’s chest.

At 2:40a.m. he was up again. And this time, he was up to stay. I patted him, but that had no effect, and Julianna began waking up. So I took him into our closet, where we have a blanket spread on the floor for this very purpose, and went back to bed to wait until his outrage spent itself. (This sounds terrible, but our closet is HUGE, and I always make sure there’s light in there.) Trouble is, in the last week, he’s really started army crawling with a purpose. So next thing I knew, his voice was getting louder as he scooted his way toward the open door of the bathroom.

Christian changed his diaper, took him downstairs and fed him some yogurt, then tried to rock him to sleep. No luck.

Christian put him in the guest bedroom in the basement so his crying wouldn’t wake the other two kids, and I took over. Shortly, Nicholas’s voice began fading, and I realized he was crawling into the guest room closet. Now, that closet is a catch-all storage space, and particularly in this season of boxes coming in and out, the stacking job is precarious. So I went to rescue him, and we snuggled up together on the spare bed until he went to sleep. Then I took him back to his crib…and off he went again.

By now I was aware that there had been far too much intervention. So I put him in the closet again, and Christian and I laid awake listening to him pull himself around the room, until finally, he subsided into intermittent gripes, and then, sleep.

That was shortly before 5 a.m.

So much for getting up at 5:30 to write.

It seems clear that some other solution is necessary. We can’t just close the door and ignore him, because Julianna is in that bedroom, too. But moving Nicholas doesn’t seem to be working—especially since he is no longer a stationary baby. So tonight, we are going to bring the sleeping bag into our room, and when Nicholas gets up, we’ll bring Julianna in to sleep. Nicholas will just have to stay in his crib, and learn to deal with it, the same as his big brother and big sister did.

Perhaps I’m fudging by posting this for WFMW, since we haven’t tried it yet…but so be it. Will this work for me? Stay tuned for the next episode of….PARENTING MYTHBUSTERS…

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 10:32 am  Comments (5)  
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Banana Storms

Motherhood Moments

Precious moments. We’ve all had them—those moments that make your heart catch every time you remember them. No matter how often you revisit them, they never get stale or lose their power. Tender or funny, poignant or inspiring, they fortify us against toddler tantrums and pubescent (and pre-school) power struggles.

Leave a comment sharing your moment—or, if you’re feeling ambitious enough to write a whole post (or want to link from your own blog), email me and I’ll use your story as the moment of the day.

***

Tap, tap, tap. The knock dragged me up from blissful, uninterrupted (up till then, at least) sleep. “Come in, Alex,” I said sleepily. The door skidded along its frame and swung open, and I put my hand out as he came to meet me. “What’s up, honey?”

“Mommy, I had a dream, and there was a banana storm,” he said. “And Juweanna couldn’t reach me, and Nichowuss fell in the water and I couldn’t save him. He fell off the edge.”

“Oh, my goodness,” I said, waking up fully, because that was a serious dream for such a little guy. “Come on, let’s get you tucked back in.”

I shepherded him back across the hall, shaking my head at the convergence of events that led to such a dream—because I knew them all. Banana storm: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Falling in the water: Farmer Boy, which Christian had read to him at bedtime. Nicholas falling off the edge: he was scooting all over the bed while I was teaching that night, and I held onto his feet as he wiggled himself right over the edge and hung there, bemused, staring at the floor. We thought it was cute at the time, but in the dead of night, cute becomes something much darker.

“I’m glad it was a dream,” he said.

“Me, too, honey,” I said. “That’s something we can thank God for, when we wake up from a bad dream—that it’s not real.”

I tucked him in and kissed him goodnight again before heading back to bed myself. “Banana storms,” Christian chuckled. “You gotta watch out for those banana storms.”

Published in: on November 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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