Sleepless Night


It was 11:34 when his little hunched-over frame turned the corner at the

base of the stairs and hobbled into the back room.

“What’s wrong, buddy?”

He had been in bed for several hours. Nothing good comes from a rumpled boy stumbling from his room at night.

Please don’t let it be a stomach virus. Please don’t let it be a stomach virus. No vomit. No vomit. No vomit.

“I can’t sleep,” he answered. And then the dam broke: “I just can’t!” He was almost hysterical now. In those words lived the very real fear that he may never sleep again. He was frustrated and fully enveloped in the panic that thrives at night where worry runs with reckless abandon.

I opened my arms to my pale-faced boy.

“What’s bothering you?”

He crumbled into my lap. “I don’t know.” He was in that horrible limbo where your body aches for sleep but your mind won’t quiet. He was desperate.


I held him while hot tears wet his cheeks. He groaned again, “I just can’t sleep!”

I knew he was watching minutes tick by on an imaginary clock in his mind. Morning was gaining on him. I thought about all the nights I’ve watched the red digits march on toward daylight where work or school or life waited. Horrible.

“Listen. If it takes two hours, no problem. Even if it takes all night, it’s ok.”

His hair was fuzzy in spots from rolling to find some position that would let his body and mind surrender. No luck.


“And if it takes all night, no school.” It’s the daytime stuff steering the worry. I get it.

He nodded and folded into me. In minutes, his mouth fell open while he breathed heavy bedtime breaths…directly in my face.

I put my head against his, partly to escape his hot breath but mostly because cialis generique est il efficace I couldn’t remember the last time I held him like this.

He’s 8 now. With all the big kid stuff that requires his cialis generique pas cher attention, sometimes it feels like entire days pass before I really see him–how much his teeth are growing in, how long his legs have become, how all the baby fat has given way to muscle, how the little sun we’ve seen has summoned his freckles to the surface of his cheeks.

I had plans before he came into the back room. My computer was on and ready. I was wrapped in several throw blankets with a fresh mug of tea. I so relish the few short hours between bedtime and the baby’s rattling cry.

He shifted on my lap and became limp. His body completely let go and yielded to deep sleep. My shoulder and arm started to tingle beneath him. If I carried him upstairs, I could have had my tea. I could have written a few lines.

But I held him a little longer in the quiet without anyone else vying for lap space.

I needed this. I didn’t know it before it happened, but I did.

My body started to get numb from the weight of him. His toes grazed my ankles. But he’s still little.

I almost forgot.

11 comments for “Sleepless Night

  1. Jennifer G.
    March 19, 2015 at 7:10 am

    That was so beautiful it brought me to tears. I’m 45 but I feel his pain. I can’t sleep most nights. I’m glad you stopped and shared those moments with him. My son is 23 so I know how fast the time flies by. I have 6 year old daughter who I cherish every day with. Before I know it, she will be all grown up too! Trust me, always stop and cherish those moments. You’ll miss them when they are gone. Thank you for the post.

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      March 19, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Oh! Thank you for reading and commenting, Jennifer! I’m glad Noah and I had that moment together. I missed him, which seems so silly to say, but it’s true!

  2. Philippa
    March 19, 2015 at 8:03 am

    This is beautiful. It is so hard sometimes when you do relish those short quiet alone times to deal with these things with such grace. I know I often fall short. Thank you for reminding me to see the positive.

    • girlalwaysinterrupted
      March 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you, Philippa! I treasure one-on-one time, now. I don’t want to miss a thing, but I know there are so many times I am hurried or harried, and I don’t take a moment to pause. I appreciated this moment of forced quiet and cuddle. I bet you rarely fall short.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. cathy
    March 19, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I have a lump in my throat. So glad you could ease his troubled mind. He’s just too young for that kind of worry.

  4. Diane
    March 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I read this and it brought tears to my eyes because I would give anything to have a little Andy wander in now and need a hug or comfort or anything – he’s a man now, and rarely needs any comfort from me, more often than not, telling me he’s fine. Thanks for bring those sweet memories back to me.

  5. Kathleen Gallo
    March 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Precious, precious memories that brought me to tears as I remembered my 4 when they were little and grew up so very fast it seemed! Those special unscheduled times will always be treasures in your heart – I know they are in mine! Thanks for focusing on how special it is to hold them and love on them!

  6. March 20, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I read this last night and shed a few tears, I remember those moments. I remember those moments when he had been too big but he still needed a moment in his mothers arms – those times just don’t happen the same any more!

    And, while he’s busy and has his own life with school, and theater, and cheer, and church drama team and work – the other night he came home from work late – it was about 11:30, and kept me up another 30 minutes as he kept thinking of things that he needed to tell me.

    And I will cherish every moment of lost sleep because it means my kid wanted to talk to me!

  7. March 20, 2015 at 10:55 am

    That was lovely, and you are right to treasure those moments. Mine are all grown now, so I don’t get night-time cuddles any more. I’m feeling all nostalgic! Thank you.

  8. Donna
    March 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I agree with the others. This was beautiful. It reminds me of what my own mother said, “you never outgrow needing your mother.” My girls are teens now and the time has just flown by.

  9. April 1, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Oh how I miss those days. My youngest is almost 13 and i see him growing before me. Our children no matter how big they grow will always need their mommies. Thank you for sharing this.

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