A Nightmare of a Night


A Nightmare of a Night

The first Tuesday of November.  For most of you it’s likely just a Tuesday.

For those of us in the media, it’s election day.  If the Presidential election is like the Super Bowl for political types…the Midterms are sort of like the Orange Bowl.  Not the big National Championship game it used to be, but still a storied history.

This is one of those buckle in, steady yourself the the ride kind of nights.  Some in the media live for these days.  Others bemoan their having to go to cover a political race.

The election plays second fiddle to my first job – getting three remaining kids in my house ready for the day.  I had breakfast situated, dinner set up for them, then headed out the door.

Elections are always a large amount of waiting around for the polls to close and then a mad dash of adrenaline.  Sheer boredom followed by a dose of panic.

For me, though, I was checking in constantly with my middle daughter to make sure dinner was eaten, showers taken, “did the boys have a snack before bed?”

This ends with “love you guys,” via text.

If the races are mostly undecided you stay on the air until the majority are.  This night we didn’t have to . . . but still were on the air until Midnight.  While traffic isn’t a major problem at 12:15am, I still didn’t get home until about 1:30.

This followed with winding down, watching some Friends rerun on television and making lunches.  I had a sneaking suspicion all while I did this, though, that something wasn’t quite right.  I walked up the stairs and found my son sitting on the bed, feet on the floor.  He was crying.

His sister informed me that he’d had a nightmare – the same nightmare – three times this night.  She’d stayed up until about 11 with him lying on the couch until she just couldn’t stay up any more.  She took him upstairs and went to bed hopeful that he felt secure.

He didn’t.

I can’t say it was because I wasn’t home or because I was telling them I had no choice, I was working until Midnight unless a serial killer came into the house I wasn’t coming home.  But he’d had nightmares for a couple weeks about being chased or being abandoned.  This night wasn’t helping that situation at all.

I tucked his brother into bed, checked on his sister, then ushered him into my bed.

So I sit here writing as I still can’t seem to wind down.

There’s some peace of mind to end the events, though.  My son is immediately asleep, something he couldn’t do before, he was restless and tossing and turning.

The upside to it all is I knew what was coming.  I had signs via texts and pictures and phone calls with his sister this was coming . . . and I was prepared for it.  She told me she couldn’t figure out why he was having such nightmares.  I knew.  This week we celebrated his Mom’s birthday, even though she passed away.  Then his older sister’s birthday was yesterday . . . and she wasn’t here.

But we talked to her via FaceTime.  I talked to them all day.

I know what’s going on, though there’s nothing to be done.

Like so many things, like the election we just covered, you just have to ride it out.

Eventually, the nightmare ends.  Sometimes you just need the comfort and security of the one you love with you.

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