I’m a big believer in sleep. For the kids, for my husband, and for me. I think it’s key to health and equilibrium. I can still function when sleep-deprived, but should only do this alone – I have a short fuse when I’m tired. And being a bit of a night owl, I’ve more than once cajoled myself to sleep with the truth that it’s the best thing I can do for my kids the next day.
But we’ll trump sleep for something worth it. A holiday maybe, a party, a special something that’s worth the tiredness. Something worth exchanging sanity for, and we do this with some regularity because we’re lucky enough to have reason to. Gratefully two of my kids can sleep in – my youngest needs company in the bed for this to work, but he can do it.
My middle son can’t though… he is pretty much up in the morning no matter when he goes to bed. I find this kind of fascinating, since I can’t relate to it at all. He goes downstairs and plays quietly by himself (I took the time to teach him that!) and waits for the rest of us. And by night, he’s often really quite beat.
At 5 yesterday morning, he had a nightmare and came to me. He dreamt of a witch, who was trying to eat him. No tears, but he said he was upset by the dream and walked into my arms when I opened them. And I knew it would plow me under the next day, but I held him there for over an hour. I was hoping we’d fall back asleep, but kind of knew we wouldn’t. It was too close to morning for him to fall asleep again, and I can’t sleep with him awake.
As it turns out, the next day went well – there was no reason to regret the late night the way I sometimes do. But even if there’d been more drama, I still don’t think I’d regret the night before. He’s a bit stoic, my middle guy, and doesn’t always accept help; I was glad when he allowed himself to be comforted in the night, and to be comforted by me. I believe completely in the powers of sleep, but there are some things even more precious, and I don’t want to miss them.