Friday, January 11, 2013

A Quiet Night

It's been slowing down, but I do this about once a month. In the quiet of the night, before I fall asleep, I replay the scene of me and Claire and Murphy (the dog) running to the corner of our walk-out basement, just ten seconds before a tornado passed by us, causing a few hundred thousand dollars damage to our house, completely destroying four houses within eyesight. Meaning, shit was scary and not just "a little windy".
I'm able to watch us with a birds eye view, almost like it's a vignette in a movie scene, like I'm watching myself, and not remembering it from my own perspective.
Sometimes this replaying is prompted by hearing normal wind outside, other times it's because I've been dealing with insurance claims that week and thus the situation is in the front of my head, and then sometimes, like last night, it's just out of the blue.
I was about ten minutes into it last night, Nick snoozing beside me, oblivious to my worries. (It's better that way.) I heard the creak of Claire's door open, a few pitter-patters across the narrow hallway to our door, and then my door creak open.
I braced myself for a crying toddler; either a tantrum, begging and pleading (subconscious... see last post) to go back to bed, or a thirty minute process of putting her back to sleep. This has become the norm in the last month or two; Claire typically wakes up at night about 4 nights a week crying.
Instead, last night, in the middle of my tornado rehashing session, Claire creaked open my door quietly. Before she had a chance to say anything, I quietly addressed her. Honestly, I was quite surprised she wasn't crying yet and wondered if I preemptively started talking to her, if I could distract her from crying. "Claire? What is it?"  
She said she had a bad dream, which in itself wasn't too surprising. This makes up about 40% of her given reasons for waking up in the middle of the night. But when I asked her what her dream was about, and she quietly answered me, still just talking like a normal kid and not wailing and crying, I was instantly chilled. "I had a bad dream about it's windy." (sic)
I sprung out of bed, hoping to not wake Nick, and we went back into her room, and I put her back into bed. Of course I held her first, held her so close. She put her head on my shoulder -- an act that any of you parents out there of toddlers know, is a rarity these days. She let me put her back into bed without a fight, and we just quietly talked about better things to dream about... going to the beach in Pentwater, riding in the wagon with friends, making sandcastles, and playing on the playground.
She let me put her to bed without a fight. It was a quiet blip in the night, probably the quietest mid-night wake up we've had in months, but it spoke so loudly to me, my ears (and heart) are still ringing. I am a lucky, lucky woman.


Meg said...

This story gutted me. Xo

Jessica said...

Wow. You are such a strong and wonderful mommy and person Lindsay. This is a moving beyond words story. I pray one day this will be a distant memory for you both.