Technically, I don’t have to be up for 15 more minutes.
Technically, each of my children has their own bed in their own bedroom and my husband and I have our cozy converted attic room.
Technically, we are not now, nor have we every been, a family that co-sleeps. Technically.
(standard non-judgey disclaimer– I don’t care if you do co-sleep. You do you and all that)
But there is a thunderstorm this morning and it is the first day of school and so nobody is where they are supposed to be. Miles is sleeping on the couch in the living room, for reasons I don’t know. Ev was up in our bed, woken by the thunderstorm and then annoyed that WE were crowding HER in OUR bed. Mr. Monkey then went downstairs to sleep in her twin bed but she soon followed after him, wanting both her water cup and to ensure that he got as little restful sleep as possible. When I last saw them, they were both snuggled up in her little bed, one of them happily.
If I can step outside of my own tiredness this morning, I can feel a little tenderness about the fact that Ev still feels like being near us is a thing that keeps her safe. She is, of course, just as safe from this early morning summer thunderstorm in her room as she is laying next to us. But she doesn’t feel that yet. At four, she has a list of fears that include thunder, the next door neighbor’s outdoor cat, and almost every dog on our block, except for the very elderly Bucky who hobbles down the block by his owner’s side and is as gentle as can be. Facing all of these fears is something Ev only does with one of us next to her, preferably holding her.
Sometimes she seems so big and then the thunder cracks or a dog barks and I remember that she is still a little person in a big world that she can’t control. And that makes it just a little easier to forgive the feet in my kidneys at 5:00AM.