In a rare twist of events, Meazi asked if she could sleep in our bed tonight. After years of co-sleeping, she had finally made her way over to a single bed in her own room last spring. Just this past weekend, at Ikea, she picked out light blue sheets and a toile comforter cover that she liked.
Overwhelmed by the complexities of third grade (primarily the introduction of substantial homework and angst about being the youngest girl in her class) Meazi surprised me with this request. I told her she never had to ask and that she was always welcome to sleep in our room if she wanted to. Melese still sleeps with us. He still kicks us incessantly in the ribs and Steven inevitably ends up on our lumpy couch in the living room. Our house is so small that it doesn’t really matter where any of us sleep; we are still very close to one another.
I need the room to be pitch black to sleep. This drives Steven crazy. If a curtain is open anywhere and the smallest sliver of a lamppost light slips in I go ballistic, "What is that glaring Lighhhhhhhhht?” I wail. I also need to be up against the wall; anxiety about rolling off the outside edge causes me to wake up throughout the night. If I am not smashed up against the cold, dark wall, I will never ever sleep.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for Meazi. I always forget that September and March are really trying times for our kiddos. March for obvious reasons, September for more subtle ones.
I was secretly gleeful as Meazi brushed her teeth. I miss her. Nighttime is the time when Meazi used to talk to me the most. These days she is knee deep in a Boxcar Mystery each night armed with a tiny reading light and a silky sleep cap. I can’t get a peep out of her when I say goodnight. Instead I get a “Please mom, five more minutes to read?” Who can resist. I let her read until she falls asleep. I leave and go in the next room to lie down with Melese. Melese talks a little bit before he falls asleep. I’ll say, “What was the best part of your day Melese? What was the part you liked the least?” He’ll answer, throw his skinny arm around my neck and fall fast asleep. I’ll wait a few minutes and then get up.
Tonight I lay between them. Meazi stuck her cold feet under my legs for warmth. “What part of your body is this mom ?"(Who could tell in this deep dark sleeping chamber with nary an ounce of light). “It’s my thigh.” I said. “Oh, I thought you just had a really fleshy calf.” She says laughing. “Don’t get up Mama,” she says, “Stay here with us.” Melese is chatty, anxious about a couple of things “What happens when you miss a connecting flight Mama?” I tell him about later flights and other airlines but he still seems worried although we have no immediate travel plans that I know of.” “What will happen with Doc and Zeppo?” Our friend’s pups had a serious scuffle and Melese is worried about them. He says, “Our dogs did something much badder remember Mama? They ate all those Easter eggs!” We didn’t know Melese when our three dogs consumed thirty-six dyed Easter eggs, but he remembers it as if he had been there.
There is a little more chatter among them. I am relishing being in the middle again. Time ticks on, 8:00, 8:30. They continue to talk. Melese says to Meazi, “Don’t be surprised if mommy gets up and is tempted to read a little bit. She’ll want to get a small snack and watch her Mad Men on TV.” I laugh at this very true statement. I do like to get up after he falls asleep to read a little, have a little snack, and have a cool glass of wine with Don Draper, err I mean Steven.
I realize why they are not falling asleep. I quietly move out of the middle to the outside of the bed, fear of falling be damned. “Mommy don’t go!” Meazi says. “I’m still here.” I reply. Melese rolls into her, flings his skinny arm around her waist, and the two of them are asleep within thirty seconds. Just like it used to be.