A normal day with my beautiful son is a day of routine. I’ve never experienced a child so predictable. He wakes up with us in the morning around 6am and keeps us company as his dad and sister get ready to leave for the day. The moment they are gone, he drinks his bottle and then plays, waiting to eat his breakfast by 7h30am.
Around 8am, he goes down for a first catnap and wakes up around 9am. When he wakes up, giggly and happy, we spend the morning playing, laughing, working our way to a bottle and another nap from 11am to noon.
Lunch, play and our daily walk brings us to tub time and yet another bottle before he has his 3rd nap of the day from 4pm until sissy and daddy come home around 5pm. Then family time is spent until all kiddos are put to bed around 7h30pm.
So mom and dad get a few hours together, which is precious to us and we thank our lucky stars everyday for such regularity and balance to our days.
We go to bed around 9h30pm after a few hours of sharing house work, thoughts of our day, a TV show, some snuggles on the couch… lights go out, lid close shut, but for the last month, the routine does not end there.
11h30pm, give or take a few minutes, a whine and a cry, a scream of terror. Little man settles into his first night terror (or confusional event) of the night. We try to reassure him, he thrashes and cries. We try to hold him, he hits and kicks. 5 to 10 minutes go by and finally, his little exhausted body goes limp. Back to sleep he goes. Alarmed, destroyed, helpless, pumped full of adrenaline, my husband and I go back to bed, hoping to fall back to sleep, knowing 3 am is right around the corner… and it will start again.
For 4 weeks now, my little man’s night terrors have been throwing us for a loop. My mother’s heart bleeds. We know he’s not feeling any pain. We know he doesn’t remember them in the morning. We know that when 6am rolls around, he will wake up happy and giggly, ready to start another perfect day. Grey from sleep deprivation, my husband and I smile back at him, hoping this last night was just that, the last.
Apparently it will pass, apparently it is the age, apparently it is very common… but I can tell you now, my entire being wishes it wasn’t so.
So what seed am I working when my son’s turmoil and distress takes me from my dreams? So many of them I think : Compassion, loving-kindness, patience, wisdom… It is a challenge that I could curse, but I try very hard to thank the Heavens for : it will make me that much better of a parent, that much better of a human being. Buddha said :”Love all people as a mother loves her child”. If I learn to love my fellow man half as much as I love my son when I hold his trembling body in the dark of our room night after night, my world, I think, will be a wonderful place!
Good night everyone, wish us luck.