I went to bed at 6:45 last night. My brain had stopped thinking, my heart was overwhelmed, and I could not seem to think through the steps of homework and bedtime, let alone navigate them.
(Insert my mom, ever the hero. She came to think and navigate on my behalf.)
I lay in my bed, not even asleep, but just needing to be still. A preemptive approach to fighting anxiety. It was threatening its arrival, so I was barring the windows and locking the doors.
I could hear my mom. "Boys, let's read these two books, and then you need to finish your homework and put on jammies."
"But will there be bedtime TV tonight?"
"But Mommy said there will be."
"Mommy doesn't feel well tonight, so she's in bed. We're going to read two books, finish homework, and put on jammies."
Tyler argued her to the moon and back, and she pulled out the maternal voice she needs for such situations, the one I learned to heed thirty years ago. He obeyed.
Tucker was compliant, but terrified. Mommy's sick? Mommy's in bed?
He snuck up to my room. His sweet face... his firm jaw, his quivering chin, his eyes welling.
"Mommy? You're sick?"
"Buddy, I'm okay. I'm just going to bed early tonight. I just need to take a break."
"Mommy, I'm just so afraid. Sometimes my mind thinks you're going to be dead."
I sat up, to show him that I could, and to make direct eye contact with him.
"Lovey, I'm not dying. I promise you."
"You can't say that. Because everyone will die. You're going to get old and die."
"That's true. But I'm here. And I won't leave you, for as long as you need me."
"As long as I'm a kid, I need you, Mommy."
I know, Lovey. I'm here. I'm here. I promise. I'm here.
He read the two books, finished his homework, got into his jammies, and tried to be brave.
My mom came to my room to check in on me and deliver the update. "Tyler's looking for things to do, and Tucker's very worried."
"Should I go in there?"
"Well, I do think it would save us all some time and heartache. But be sure to look healthy."
Easy to do. I'm healthy. Just weary to my core.
I went into the boys room, and at the mere sight of me, Tucker burst into wailing tears. He just couldn't stop crying. He grasped at me, my hands, my neck.
Oh, the terror in his heart.
On the bottom bunk, Tyler was situating his stuffed animals, piling them on top and around him, covering them with blankets and blankets and blankets. His own coping mechanism.
"Hey, guys? Everybody up. Come on to my room."
"For just a little while, Mommy?"
"No, for the night. Come on down."
Tyler brought his entire community of plush toys and soft blankets, and he made a nest on the floor next to my bed. Tucker climbed right into the spot that was Robb's, and he asked if he could please have his hand on my arm all night.
"I just need to know you're there." I know, Sugar.
My mom tucked us all in and slipped out, setting the alarm on her way.
And so we had a sleepover in my room last night.
It definitely defeated the purpose of my early bedtime, but there is no greater cause than to help my sons feels safe. For this, I will take interruptions and wandering hands and feet and snoring and sleep talking and the sweeth breath rhythm of boys asleep.
Good morning, boys. Look. I'm still here.
Praying for you and your boys. What a wonderful mommy you are.
The Lord has a great plan for you and your boys...you are all weathering the storm so well...there is always the most beautiful sunrise after the storm. Praying for you today, Tricia....you are doing great and your boys will be strong, wise young man....
I recently started reading your blog after being introduced to it by a new friend at church and I absolutely love your honest, raw emotions and experiences. I can relate to your posts and your story on many levels. I lost my precious Will in May to sepsis in May and our two young children and I are facing our first Christmas without him. This post hit a familiar chord with me- in fact we have been doing "sleepovers in mom's bed" every Friday night for weeks now. I am often visited in the middle of the night on other nights as well by my 5 year old son who misses his dad and wants to cuddle with mom. Thank you for sharing your life with others who can relate. It has inspired me to possibly start my own blog as I feel it will help me in this healing journey.
It's been so long since I cried during one of your posts. Sorry you have these valleys.
For your boys, peace of mind. For you, deep, restorative sleep!
My heart aches at their worry. The trauma they are reminded of. One step at a time.
Trisha, you are so much younger than me but girl, you have my heart. My heart aches for your boys.
Oh Tricia, my heart breaks for you and your sweet boys. Sending you love, peace, and as many prayers as I can muster. You are enough. You are doing enough. You are just what your boys need. I pray rest finds your weary soul. xoxoxo
Oh how I can feel for Tucker. I so understand his worry. Praying for you as you continue through.
Your sweet, sweet boys, and you.... 🙁
Oh, their tender, hurting hearts, afraid of losing you, too. Prayers, prayers, prayers for all of you.
Oh, how this just breaks my heart. Breaks it for your boys, breaks it for you, and breaks it for me and my kids because I know they go through the same thing! My 11 year old is so much more clingy now then before; I don't blame her. I feel clingy, too.