Aden called to me from her bed the other night. Bad dream.
She said there was a doctor trying to hold a frantic little creature
and it kept eating straight through his hand. I agreed that sounded
gross and freaky and told her I’d lie with her in her bed for a little
while. She loves that. She smiled and made as much room as she could
for me and I put my arms around her and she was content.
Lying with any of my kids in his or her bed at night is amusing to
me. All three of my kids currently share one room, and I’m always
unprepared for how noisy it is. I had a room to myself growing up.
There were times I thought it was lonely, but overall I liked having my
own room and it took time to adjust to roommates in college. My kids
are so used to all being together that they’ve gotten good at blocking
out sounds of restless shifting in other beds or the soft snores and
breathing of their siblings. Mona occasionally yells at her sister in
her sleep, and Aden never stirs. Quinn sleeps through an amazing amount
of loud squeaky girl games in the mornings.
I stayed with Aden until she seemed relaxed, gave her a kiss, and
told her I had to go back to my own bed if I were going to get any sleep
myself. She understood and went back to sleep. I think she mostly
just needed to know I was only one small cry of, “Mama!” away. She
keeps asking if we can invest in walkie talkies so she can call to me at
night, and I keep reminding her that I hear the slightest peep from my
room next door without any electronic gadgets at all. The bad dreams my
kids have are few and far between, and I’m relieved that a brief
snuggle has been enough to fix them.
In any case, I haven’t noticed any increase in nightmares in the kids
since their dad left, and I’m glad. It is among the greatest gifts I
can offer my children that they feel safe in their beds at night. Ian’s
deployment may have complicated their daylight hours, but at night
there appears to be no change. Most of their dreams remain sweet.
I hope it’s a long time before they realize that true nightmares happen when you’re awake.