Sleep for Cinderella

Only a kid would try to wake you up by poking you in the face.

As I cracked open my sleeping eyes, I could make out Zeke’s shape. Standing beside my bed, holding his pillow in his hand was my six year old. ”What?” I grumpily grunted without parting my lips.

“I’m scared,” he answered.

I remember so many occasions like this one. In cooperation with the rule that Michael and I had set in place when our first born came to join our family, kids were not allowed to get in our bed with us at night. Although there have been a couple of occasions that I “snuck” a child into our bed (usually Zeke), we have stuck to that rule. The problem with a rule like that, however beneficial it may be to the marriage, is that one of the parents (usually the mom) ends up having to get up from the bed and tromp around the house in the middle of the night to solve whatever problem the child is having.

There were plenty of nights that I have done just that, responding to their calls as if I am Cinderella, answering the demands of her stepsisters.

“Mommy, I need you.” Tromp, tromp, tromp.

“Mommy!” Tromp.

“Mommy!” Tromp.

So much tromping and no fairy godmother in sight.


Poke. Poke. Poke. “Mommy.”


I think somewhere in my heart, I did feel the impulse to get up and get to tromping. After all, it would have just taken a short trip to escort him back to his bed, reassure him and bid him goodnight. But, on this night, I just didn’t feel the compulsion. For one thing, I was in the perfect cozy spot in the bed, perfectly warm and relaxed from head to toe. And, after all, he was obviously safe from harm and in good health. His robust pokes were proof of that.

I debated within myself how to respond. And then all at once, I knew precisely what I should do. Gathering my resolve, I sat myself up, kissed him on the check, and covering my face with the blanket as protection against future pokes. . .

. . . I rolled over and went back to sleep.


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