I love to sleep next to my husband in our bed. I like to do other things with him there, things I will never ever blog about so you can quit reading in hopes of those details, pervert. So anyway, on the occasional night when he stays up later than I (like tonight, working like a busy little beaver on his newest film involving a cardboard tube samurai, yes you heard right), or on the more frequent occurrences where he gets up with Nels in the middle of the night, I am often not able to settle completely until he’s back at my side.
Half-alert as my body is without him, I am all the more vulnerable to any nightly disturbance. Case in point, tonight at about 1:30 AM Nels wakes with a very frightened little cry: “Mama! Mama!” A few moments later, hearing my husband’s heavier tread in the hallway, he changes his tune: “Daddy!” Ralph is trying to tiptoe his way into our bedroom, hoping to finally come to bed and that The Boy will drift off on his own. I am now clear-headed and awake and aware this is a perfect recipe for my not-too-frequent-these-days bouts of sleeplessness. I ask my husband to bring Nels into bed with us and he complies.
Lying on my side with Nels in the crook of my arm, Sophie in between my husband and I (she is currently splitting her nights fifty / fifty in bed with us vs. the kids’ room), the house is quiet and my son’s body is awake but drowsy, a solid presence of contentment in my arms. I stroke him and feel soothed by the cool perfection of his skin under the palm of my hand. He softly whispers to me and I kiss him everywhere I can easily reach. He smells so very, very good. After a few minutes Ralph goes and gets a clean blanket from the dryer downstairs and lays it over the three of us in bed. In the dark I see bursts of sparks as the static electricity races through the warm folds; over and over these small blue electrical storms softly crackle as Ralph flutters the blanket into perfect position.
I am less and less sleepy as I lie there. For a while I quietly pester Ralph with a few questions. “Who manages the content for Wikipedia?” I whisper (and other geek stuff my brain mostly doesn’t want to deal with in the waking hours). Nels interjects his answers as if I am talking to him, in his sibilant nighttime voice (“So Google provides the bandwidth – is that why there are no ads?” I ask; “Yesss,” Nels hisses softly while my husband answers me, and on and on). After about five minutes though, I know Ralph needs to sleep. He puts Nels back in his bed and then slides back in at my side, his hand over mine, which is resting on the long, warm length of our daughter’s thigh. A very short few minutes later, and Ralph’s breathing matches Sophie’s and the house is at peace.
I, however, am rock-solid awake. Mom-somnia. Time to get up, do some laundry and dishes, and wear myself back out so I can sleep again.