My boys are noisy sleepers. Not only do they snore, giggle and talk in their sleep, they also kick and roll into the wall on occasion. Hearing bumps in the night from their rooms is not out of the ordinary.
I used to jump and run any time I heard something from their bedrooms at night. Years of opening a door to find a sleeping boy plastered against the wall — and not caring about it — has calmed my nerves. I always respond to a bump, but in time.
Last night, I heard a bump.
I was getting the house ready for bed. Cleaning up the last bits of clutter, making sure the lunch stuff was where it should be for morning packing, turning off lights and brushing my teeth. I eventually made my way into LittleBrother’s room.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw that he wasn’t in his bed.
And my heart stopped beating for a second.
I took a step closer and touched his covers. Completely empty. No body inside. Nothing. Panic began to wash over me. His door had been shut. Where could he be?
As my eyes continued adjusting to the darkness, I looked down and found LittleBrother at my feet. Asleep on the floor. Where he had apparently fallen out of bed. His legs were under the bed. How do children do this and not wake up? I roused him and cuddled him and took him to the bathroom. I tucked him back in and kissed him on his head.
I shut his door, checked on his brother and then fell on my bed. As the adrenaline of the situation began to subside, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. The fear that something had happened — that my youngest child was missing — had been so intense, for however brief of a moment. It wasn’t quite as long as that one morning I woke up and couldn’t find my boys, only to remember just before I called my husband in a full panic that they were at my parents’ for the weekend. And with that thought, I burst into a fit of laughter.
They keep me on my toes, and nothing soothes frayed nerves like a good hard laugh.