It was 2 a.m. this morning. I was lying there in bed, ears wide open, cringing every time I heard 7-year-old Emi coughing from her bedroom. I knew I should get up and help her, but my tired body didn’t want to get out of bed again. I’d already been up with her several times.
Next to me, my husband Beau lay sleeping as though under sedation. He didn’t hear Emi’s coughs because he was out like a light. It’s a special ability he has, this sleeping through disruption both minor and major, and it’s served him conveniently through our child-bearing years.
In the middle of the night last night — desperate as I am for sleep because colds and tummy bugs have been running through our family for a couple weeks now — I found myself hazily dreaming, in my half-asleep state of indecision, that if I could have a superpower I would steal Beau’s superpower, and I would sleep soundly come hell or high water.
I think the problem is that I care too much. Me caring too much has gotten me into all kinds of trouble in my life, and now it’s preventing me from sleeping. Take, for instance, last night: First 4-year-old Marsi’s coughing woke me from a sound sleep about midnight, and I couldn’t bear to hear it, so I got out of bed and gave her a cough drop. Then Emi, in the bunk above Marsi, starting coughing — on and off for what must’ve been a couple hours. First I got out of bed to give her a spoonful of honey and whiskey. I went back to bed. She coughed more. So I got out of bed to transfer her to the recliner. Then I went back to bed. Still she coughed. I got out of bed to rub Vicks on her chest and the bottoms of her feet. Finally she slept… but it wasn’t long until 2-year-old Muggins woke and I went into his room to lay down beside him until he nodded off again.
See, if I didn’t care so much I wouldn’t be listening, in my sleep, for the sounds my kids make (or don’t make) in the middle of the night. I would just conk out and ignore them until morning light, and they would very likely be just fine in the morning. It seems rational, doesn’t it?
But for some reason I can’t do it.
Perhaps it’s a requisite of motherhood, this caring too much.
But one of these nights, I continue to believe, they’re all going to sleep soundly and quietly all night long, and so I will too. It seems a distant hope… but probably not so distant as obtaining a superpower.
Today’s Weather: High of 57. Low of 33. So nice. Beau even washed his work pickup!
Today On The Ranch: Beau left early to feed cows, before the rest of us were up for the day, and spent the remaining part of the morning doing office work. In the afternoon he picked up a load of lick tubs in town and I took a trailer load (!) of trash to the dump. Nephew Nate showed up about lunchtime and helped our kids finish their schoolwork. Then they got busy doing the things boys love to do: First they shot a dove and breasted it and cooked it in my kitchen. Then they got out the dirt bike.
Then they decided it was high time we saddle Little Neigh (first time for him, so far as we know).
We took Little Neigh over to our arena spot. Muggins and the other kids got along with Little Neigh just fine…
… but Little Neigh evidently had had enough of Nephew Nate’s joshing and proceeded to thoroughly wallop him. Even though both of Nate’s feet touch the ground when he straddles Little Neigh, it took Little Neigh just a split second to lay him out flat. We all had a good laugh at Nate’s expense! If only I’d gotten a picture. Pony: 1. Nephew Nate: 0.
Was is it about boys and their need for recklessness?
We ended the evening with a campfire in the yard, complete with hot dogs and marshmallows, then Nate and Asher were off to spotlight raccoons.
© Tami Blake