I am awoken from my slumber by the sound of the rain, the scratch of a branch on the house, or perhaps a shooting star. I do not open my eyes; I try to convince myself I am not really awake. My mind is not so easily swayed. Bills that are due come creeping slowly up to the edges, followed by the list of house keeping chores, and hand in hand with children’s sports equipment requests. Coming in behind all those distractions are the new baby chicks along the bunny cage that needs fixing.
I roll over. I plump my pillow. I practice deep, slow breathing. I look at the clock. 2:05 am.
Now, I have to pee.
I certainly could stoke the fire on my way through the living room. And then I could check on those baby chicks. While I was waiting for the fire to catch, I could check my bank online, and schedule bills. I could probably switch over the laundry too, so there would be more available for the kids to fold tomorrow.
But I don’t want to get up. I don’t get up.
The fire is probably fine. The chicks are probably sleeping. There is already two loads of laundry waiting to be folded. I can schedule the bills in the morning.
I have to pee.
Rolling over I snuggle in the covers, I close my eyes, I try to sleep. I peak at the clock, 2:10.
A light thump, followed by the gentle creak of a floor board, followed by a cough. Someone is awake. Someone is walking. Someone is coming down the stairs. Someone is standing in the doorway. Someone is talking to me, beside my bed.
My youngest daughter, ready with her story of why she needs me…I pretend to sleep. I whisper to her that I am sleeping. She climbs into bed, across me, to the empty pillow of my still traveling husband.
She is small, and warm, and has her snuggly lion tucked under her arm. She snuggles into me. I snuggle her back and, but wish I could check my phone, or check on the fire, and what about those bills. She falls asleep. Cozy.
I have to pee. I try to sleep.
Suddenly, the most wretched middle of the night sound: the cat puking, on my bed!!! Yuck. Now I MUST get up…
Finally snuggling back in bed. The clock reads 2:50
I cozy up to the small child, still sleeping soundly. She does not worry about bills, or chicks, or laundry. She doesn’t need to clean cat puke off the bed and the floor. She needs love. She needs attention. She needs reassurance that it WILL be okay. She worries about bad dreams and what will happen to Percy Jackson and Grover. I can help with HER problems. I can give her love and ease her fears. I am her protector and her care giver. All she needs is her mom.
I snuggle into the covers and hug my little person. As I fall peacefully asleep, I am calmed, having solved the problems in one little world.