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...