Monday, March 09, 2009

Colds -

I am sitting in the loft. My eyes itch. My nose is running. I can't hear anything. It feels like someone with big chubby hands is squeezing my face and head. I have Silas's cold.

Silas is in his room -- his and Eden's room! -- coughing in the dark. Despite the box's warning "NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 6 YEARS OF AGE," I just gave him some children's Dimetapp. His Dr's office suggested it (does that make it ok?), and I opted for sleep. I hope this is ok. I remember as a kid faking sick at night so I could drink the grape syrupy Dimetapp that lived in the narrow hall closed above the ironing board. And I've lived to tell about it. But I was probably older than 6.

This is one of the nights when going to bed feels exhausting -- the anticipation of hard sleep interrupted. And interrupted. And interrupted. A night like last night when Silas woke up so many times that I was sure it was almost morning -- the time when all of the fitful waking would end -- only to find it was 12:07 AM and so many hours still lay ahead. I am going to take some dimetapp too.

It is hard to dig deep in the night. To dig deep and meet a child's need with sweetness, kindness, care, when I feel so impatient that the child has needs at this hour. It's hard not to feel put out or to think about how tired I'll be at 6AM.

But that's my job, isn't it? To take CARE of. To think of Silas when he cries out or whimpers or coughs in the night, not of myself. To remember what it felt like to wake up in the night and want my mom. To remember what it felt like to have someone be patient with me, what it felt like to be received. To put myself, my tired self, aside. I had to will my whole body to remember this last night as I stroked Silas's hair for the millionth time and softened the irritation from my voice. The great life lesson condensed in a cold.

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