I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep lately.
It’s not by choice, or even by family dynamic. It started about ten days ago when I couldn’t sleep due to the bug I caught. I’d fall asleep initially due to exhaustion from fighting off illness and then wake up, like I’d been asleep for 9 hours, at 3am. Every night.
But the last few nights, when I’d actually managed to get to sleep and stay asleep, my routine was interrupted for other reasons. My son, Noah, has had a number of frightful nightmares about being kidnapped. I don’t know why, not even sure what brought it on, we don’t watch crime procedurals in front of him, nor do we spend time watching intense shows or news. It’s not by design, it’s just not the kids’ cup of tea.
But each night, the last few anyway, he’s come down after the nightly routine and been in tears scared someone’s going to break into the house and take him. Tonight’s the first one in a few that he hasn’t awakened and come down asking me to calm him down.
Then tonight comes Hannah. Her nightmare had me passing away and leaving the kids alone. She was in tears.
I don’t blame any of the kids. I’ve told both Noah and Hannah before . . . I sleep with my door open, my bed right near the door, and I’m more than a bit of a light sleeper. Noah takes comfort in that and comes into the bed quite often when he’s scared. So does Sam, and occasionally Hannah. Abbi hasn’t had to do that for some time now, but she’s now eighteen, technically an adult. I don’t blame her there.
Still, I decided today that I needed to go to the doctor again and be seen, just because the kids seemed so concerned about me. It’s no coincidence that the bad dreams have been coming as long as I’ve been sick, at least horribly, hacking up a lung sick. I’ve posted before about this, not to be seeking sympathy. I’ve made a major change in how I handle things, though. I no longer think I can put up a front of an iron constitution and hold out going to the doctor. If I had, though, I’d have ended up in the hospital. Now I’m on my second round of antibiotics and I saw a noticeable calm in my kids as they realized I got another set of antibiotics, steroids, all of that. Now I’m breathing better and my kids are happier.
Sometimes it’s what they don’t say. Their subconscious minds are running wild, looking at their father and worrying.
Still, it’s not been bad enough for them to decide to clean up the kitchen table or do the dishes. Those are still there.
Some things never change.