Angel On Your Shoulder
January 09, 2009
Last night things returned to their usual clusterfuck: Ezra woke up at 2:30, and less than an hour later Noah appeared at my bedside in near tears over a dream about plane, Grandma and Ceiba -- something so vivid, apparently, that he still runs to my side for a reassuring hug every time a plane flies overhead. We attempted to return the boys to their respective beds around 4:30, which lasted for about an hour for Noah ("My tummy hurrrrrts. And the plane! The plaaaane!") and about five minutes for Ezra.
I grumpily and blindly reswaddled Ezra's arms in total darkness and tried to put him in his swing (look, the 30-Day Shred is making my muscles sore enough -- I am now officially cherishing every inch of my personal space at night), but that didn't work either. Defeated, I brought him back to bed, carefully flipped down the loose sheets and blankets, curled around him protectively with my back to Jason and Noah, and fell sound asleep.
At some point I felt a hand on my shoulder. It squeezed and shook me a little, the way Jason does when he's trying to wake me up or make sure that I know it's time to wake up, wordlessly, lest I roll over and slug him. (I'm...not nice, first thing.) My eyes opened and I slowly realized it was still pitch black out -- what the FUCK was he waking me up for? After the night we had? Seriously, DUUUUUDE.
I groggily glanced down at the baby...
...who was completely still, his face covered by the swaddling blanket.
He was fine. Warm and breathing. I sat there staring at him, panting in the wake of those 15 seconds or so of panic.
I turned around, already wondering how Jason could have known to wake me up...but he was sound asleep, his arms fully engaged around Noah, who was curled into a sleeping little ball with his hands under his chin. I put my own hand on my shoulder, where I swear I could still feel the sensation of that life-saving squeeze.
I know most parents have had those moments -- those terrible what-if moments that leave you totally shaken long after you know everything is fine, that you still replay over and over to chastise yourself for that moment of carelessness, stupidity, of oh my god you know better! what were you thinking? And then you gulp and whisper thanks to Someone and mark one down in the Never Doing That Again column, but still. All day you're sort of unsettled, like a toddler trying to sort through a dream about his dog, his Grandma and a plane falling from the sky.
I keep telling him that it's okay, that it wasn't real.
The baby is okay, although the danger was pretty real. The hand on my shoulder, though. That. I don't know. I just don't know.