I kept him out too late last night, visiting with friends while I let him play games on my phone. His red eyes drooped by the time I scooped him into his booster seat for the quick ride home. "Thanks, mama," he said, already leaning his head against the side of the seat. He barely woke up to be carried to bed once we were home. Sorry, buddy.
Maybe those missing hours of sleep messed with his sleep cycles. In the dark of the night, I hear little feet running. He clambers over his daddy to get to me, and I can hear his short wheezing breaths, feel the tremor in his hands as he tries to get to me. It's a Bad Dream Night.
"It was a fire," he gasps, and settles his forehead against mine, his little hand still trembling against my cheek, gasping for air-- whether from allergies or panic I'm not sure. I whisper reassurances with each breath... it's over now, it wasn't real, we're all here together, you can stay here with us... while Daddy goes in search of the inhaler. A breath or two of the medicine, and a snuggle with me, and he's back to sleep in moments. Waking up several times through the rest of the night, I always feel his hand, a foot, or his head pressed against me. Making sure I'm still there.
There is something so unspeakably precious about this time to me, when I am the biggest part of Making It All Better in his little world. I know it will not always be like this.