Monday, May 9, 2011

Deep thoughts in the middle of the night

My son knows I am a light sleeper. And he knows, too, that I'm a sucker. Every now and again, he summons me to his room at 3 or 4am to help him find his missing teddy or other stuffed creature. The infrequent bad dream is also a reason for him to call me; the soft but definitive "Mom!" always brings me right out of a sound sleep.

The other night, though, we had a completely new conundrum.

The telltale "Mom!" came to me, quiet but insistent, at around 3:15am, and I hurriedly threw back covers and stumbled around the circumference of the bed and through the short hallway to my boy's room. I had to flip on the bathroom light (which is in the next room) so I could see what I was doing without blinding both of us with unwanted brightness.

There sat my son, upright at the head of his twin bed, in camouflage PJs, rubbing his semi-awake eyes and looking both weary and suspicious at the same time.

"What is it, Honey?" I asked.

"Mom, who took my sheets?" he countered in an accusatory tone.

What an odd thought. Why would he conclude that someone else had taken them? We were the only two in the room, yet this was his first assumption.

I was also half-awake, you recall, and my sensitivity was not at an all-time high as I gazed at him through squinty eyes and replied, "No one." I pointed at the foot of his bed, and there were the offending sheets and blankets, scrunched up into an unrecognizable mass... where he'd pushed them with his own restless feet and legs.

"You kicked them down to the bottom, Babe," I explained sleepily, and I helped him pull the bedclothes back up and rearrange them correctly over his soon-to-be-prostrate form. He snuggled down and was already halfway there, and I tucked him in and exited quickly before our interlude could become a full-fledged conversation, which I was mostly definitely not interested in pursuing.

But I thought about it a lot as I tried to get back to sleep, and on into the next day. How strange, that my little boy's limited exposure to the world, or me, or human nature, caused him to look for the guilty party who'd taken his covers, instead of grasping that he'd pushed them away from himself. How often have I done the same thing? Not just while sleeping, but also while fully awake? How often in my life have I sought the covers thief, instead of accepting responsibility and seeking to make it right so that I am "covered" from here on in?

See, I warned you these were deep thoughts...


Rhapsody B. said...

He is looking for reassurance and is confident that you will be there to supply it so the test it out once in a while and will continue to do so to reaffirm, yep she's there, she'll come.

hmmmmmm.....accepting responsibility for ones action sounds simplicitic though its rather complex if you think about it. It means looking in, facing your stuff, your limitations and be willing to be wrong and sometimes be shamed if there is witnesses to your blunder and that at times is what makes us hide the tell tale signs of shame and blame.

Thanks for sharing.
Take care and stay blessed.

Mel said...

Hi Rhapsody,
Yes, there is definitely some testing to make sure I'll still scurry in. And you are right, I think it's tough for all of us, big or small, to face ourselves honestly. It's much easier to point a finger...but then we deny ourselves the opportunity to improve.
Thanks for stopping by!

Dani said...

I'm completely the opposite
blaming myself for things that someone else did,
thinking that somehow it must have been my fault ... where is the line between those two approaches?

Mel said...

Dani, I think I crossed the line between those two approaches a few years ago. I blamed myself a lot more when I was dating selfish, immature boys (not men). Marrying a nice guy and, a few years later, turning 40 really sealed the deal for me. I started to see things as they truly were; sometimes my fault, sometimes the fault of others, but always needing to be addressed with truth and kindness. Thank you for stopping by—I hope you visit again, and I hope you don't blame yourself when you are not to blame. : )