He was stealth-like. I never heard him coming. The soft pad of his footsteps felt like they were inside my head, a part of my dream. Until I felt a soft brush on my arm and a quiet voice whisper, "Mommy". I looked down from my bed to see him nearly eye level with me (when did he get so tall!). "Mommy, I have to go potty." His whimper hurried me along quicker than I normally would've at one in the morning.
We rushed to the bathroom. "Close your eyes, baby, the light will be bright." We both squeezed our eyes shut tight, but it was still blinding.
After he hopped down and he looked at me with his wide blue eyes. I knew what was coming next. "I want you to lay with me." So we crawled into his squeaky twin size bed, he curled his little body into mine, and was instantly asleep. I lifted myself out of the bed as quietly as the wood slats allowed me to and tip-toed out of the room to climb back into my own bed.
And then I tossed and turned and turned and tossed. An hour later, I was still awake. So I grabbed my tablet and trudged out to the living, careful to not step on the creaky wood planks on the floor so I wouldn't wake up my husband, my son, or my mother-in-law, all sleeping in separate rooms along my path.
An hour of engrossed book reading flew by when I heard it the first time. I strained to listen. Nothing. All is quiet. I went back to reading. Five minutes later, I hear it again. Louder this time. I closed my book and got up off the couch and tiptoed to Henry's room. I pushed open the door quietly in case I was imagining the noises.
But there he sat, upright, looking at the door with tears streaming down his face. And that's when he let out his loudest cry and screeched "Mommmmmy, my earrrrrr" while clutching his left ear. I immediately hopped into bed with him and scooped him into my arms to try and stop the crying, to let him know I was there and it would be okay.
At the same time, Grammie came into the room to see if he was okay. I handed him to her so I could get up to get the medicine. When I came back, he was calm, gently rocking on her lap and she held him tightly. I gave him the medicine and the three of us sat quietly for a few minutes. "Are you ready to lay back down?" Grammie asked. I asked him if I could lay with him, knowing he wasn't quite ready to drift off just yet.
So I climbed back into his squeaky bed and Grammie handed him over to me. My baby that isn't so much a baby anymore. I pulled him close to me and asked if he was feeling better. He nodded and rolled to his side so I could tickle his back. Within a few minutes, he was softly snoring again. I made the move to get up and his head popped up. He stuck his two pointer fingers in the air and whispered "two more minutes". So I laid back down and smoothed his hair and kissed his cheek and said, "I'm right here baby."
And that was all he needed. He fell into a deep sleep, and I just laid there watching him. Thinking about how even though I had to be up for work in just two short hours, and he was hurting, that I truly love laying there with him. That I have the power to comfort him and ease his pain.
This mothering gig is pretty amazing.