Monday, July 14, 2008

The perils of parenting

I won't tell you how many times I have woken in the middle of the night, heart racing, afraid to move.
It's a parent thing, I know. I lay there, my mind spinning in thousands of improbable circles, what ifs making me want to jump to my feet and also making me unable to draw a full breath.
It's my kids. Yes, my happy little heathens.
At least once a week I wake terrified that Punk has stopped breathing or the boys have been kidnapped.
It's immobilizing, laying there, knowing that if I check they will be fine, knowing that if I move the horrible truth will become clear.
I have lain perfectly still for a good half hour waiting for my kids to make a noise before I could breathe again and move my body to check on them.
(And to clean up the new wet spot in the bed.)
I think it must be only a mom thing (although, if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me) because my husband sleeps blissfully (snoring loudly) beside me and never wakes up terror stricken.
Maybe its because I have known these lives since their first moments, since that wee little spark of life flickered and took hold. Maybe because I have nine plus months of parenting more than my husband my body is more attuned to their needs, and that attachment causes these night terrors.
Maybe I'm just crazy.
Okay, no maybe there.
But maybe it is because we are forced to raise our children in a world of fear, where the monsters in the closet are actually your neighbors and you can't allow your kids alone outside anymore for fear someone will take them.
Maybe it's because I have to look my boys in the face and teach them to be wary of strangers. I have to try to make them understand without making them so scared they can't function.
Maybe its because every night on the news a baby is killed by an abusive boyfriend, a child is abducted, or something equally horrifying happens.
Maybe my night terrors are a manifestation of the world we live in. A world made up of darkness and fear and sorrow, where the only points of light are battering against the darkness, their efforts valiant but far too weak.
Maybe my night times wakings are because the bogeyman is real and, one day, might just decide to visit our home.

1 comment:

Polina said...

You are not crazy... I know this state of awakening in the night, listening to the silence and waiting for your child to make a noise to know everything is fine... all moms feel nearly the same... afraid and caring...