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The Night Shift

I suppose by now it is a conditioned response.  Or–I’m completely trained.  My son cries out at night, and I rise from whatever depth of sleep to rescue, to soothe, to hold, to reassure.

I bolt without breathing when I hear an urgent, “Mommy!”  I sit up at a single cry, and then retuck in the one still sleeping.   I sense small footsteps before they’ve left the bedroom, and I meet them in the hallway.

I rise because…

because he’s my son.

Sometimes he clings to me, begs me to stay “for a just a short time.”  Sometimes with his eyes still closed, he shakes an empty water bottle.  Sometimes he walks me back to his blankets, the ones cocooned on the floor, and asks if I’ll cover him up.  And sometimes…sometimes–like last night–he speaks frankly, “I love you, mommy,” and then puts his head back down.

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2 Responses to “The Night Shift”

  1. Carolyn Moore says:

    Brought memories back from 35 years ago when my son did the same. We tucked all the stuffed animals back around his little self and then– only then, he was once again safe. Years fly by, we all change but the memories remain the same — Once Upon A Time!

  2. Kristine says:

    great writing! can totally imagine this and relatable. what parent hasn’t had this experience?

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