We try to get to bed before midnight. We really do. But if it actually happens, it’s a small miracle. Between the 3 kids and all our projects, we feel pretty good if we’re able to turn out the light for good before the clock turns to 12:00.
One night last week we were especially tired. I was getting ready for my trip and Elsa was being very needy. So when we turned out the light at 11:55, I was feeling like it was a pretty big victory. However, we had only been lying there a minute or two when we heard the boys’ bedroom door open. A few seconds later there was a knock at the door. We went out to the living room to see what was up.
It was Simon. He’s been having trouble sleeping lately: falling asleep, staying asleep, getting his mind to quiet down. He’ll ask to come out and join us 2 hours after we’ve put him to bed. And the next day he’ll be dragging. We don’t know what to do about it, exactly. I tell him he gets it from me, that I have a hard time falling asleep as well, and then encourage him to lie still and breathe deep and slow. I was expecting more talk of not being able to sleep when I went out to see what had prompted him to knock on our door at that moment.
Instead, he stuttered, and he seemed near tears. “I don’t like it when . . . when . . . when . . . . I just, I just, I just . . . . Well, I just don’t really like it when you go to bed because then who will watch over me?”
Cue the “Awwwws.” Micah and I were a little taken aback. Simon rarely gives any indication of neediness. He’s so independent and sensible that such emotion and vulnerability were surprising.
We immediately assured him that we’re still on watch, even when we’re sleeping. We often hear when they get up to use the restroom, we check on them when we hear them coughing or crying, we know when they creep out of their beds to go sleep on the couch. He seemed a little bit relieved, but still near tears. So I went with him to his bed, climbed up the ladder and lay down with him for a few minutes, until he was comfortable and said it was okay for me to leave.