Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Night Nicky! One More Way our Kids are "Special"

Nicky's favorite place to sleep is in my bed. Given the opportunity he even likes to choose my pajamas, preferably red! Yep, he likes the red and white stripped oversized T shirt I wore when I was pregnant with him.

This all sounds sweet, and when he was smaller sharing a bed was comforting and useful. I was right there when he would wake up at night (which was often) to help him get back to sleep and I always knew where he was. I could sleep because I knew what he was doing, where he was and that he was still alive! I didn't have to worry that he had escaped from the house and run naked to the neighbors with his videos and blanket in tow and taken over their family VCR. I didn't have to be concerned about running in the street looking for him in my pajama's or the little faces of horrified children who had been pushed away from their TV by a naked child, or wonder if he had decided to cook an egg on the stove - minus the pan - or worry if he had decided to go downstairs and watch video's all night, or if the freezer had been opened in the middle of the night leaving all of our food to spoil.

Oh, yes there were benefits to keeping Nicky close, very close. At the same time, like all kids he is so beautiful when he's sleeps and he likes to have me near. I know this because every night, with his eyes still closed I watch his precious little hand reach, fingers stretched apart, extending from his body reaching out searching the bed to see if I am there. If the hand finds me, he returns to his peaceful sleep. If the hand does not find me, he wakes up and screams "Mom!". If he doesn't find me immediately, he's up for the count and so am I. So to minimize sleep deprivation I learned to stay near by.

Now at 11 years old he's just a little to old to be sleeping with me and sleeping with him. It’s just not so precious anymore. Not so precious when; I am sound asleep out like a light and BAM!!! That precious little hand smacks me hard across the face and then it grabs my hair and pulls with all it's might! Crap, what a way to wake up. Not cool, when his favorite pillow is my bottom, which he attempts to uncover and fluff up before putting his head on it. Then there are the nights he pops up at 4AM, turns on all the lights in the house and then uses my bed (while I'm still in it) for a trampoline. Oh and let's not leave out my very favorite. I'm sound asleep and suddenly I hear a little noise and then I'm all wet!!! Nicky has peed on me, the bed, the sheets, the blankets he's soaked and he calmly roles over ready to return to his sound sleep. I leap up, pissed, literally, wake him up send him to the rest room and clean up begins. Oh yes, night time is "Special". LOL

Moving on...Like all mom’s I always say "sweet dreams" to Nicky and its part of his favorite story "Good Night Gorilla". But unlike most kids, Nicky and I have never talked about dreams. He has never alluded to me that he knows what a dream is, or that he had ever had one. But today I opened my eyes and there was Nicky. He woke me up, turned and faced me, looked me in the eyes and here's our conversation:

Nicky: "Mommy dreamed. Pictures in my head. I saw sheeps eating the grass and they got hit by a tractor".
Me: "Wow, you had a dream with sheep are they okay?"
Nicky: "The tractor hit flamingos then the flamingos went to the hospital".
Me: "Really?"
Nicky: "I was sad that the flamingos were at hospital."
Me: "Did you see anything else?"
Nicky: "Sheeps"

Those are his words. His precious words. This is a little miracle for me. It's not everyday that he stares into my eyes, his eyes filled with emotion and I get a peek into Nicky's world. Today I received the best gift he could give me, a completely novel, unprompted, unscripted conversation recalling something about him. Something out of his imagination. I am so happy I didn't miss this moment. It was all worth it, the bad nights, the wet beds because I got to be there. There in that moment when something happened that had never happened before.



  1. Thank you for sharing this precious moment. :)

  2. I remember the first day Casey looked me in the eyes. I wanted to shout it from the top of Mt. Lee to all of Los Angeles! And when he began to talk about dreams and feelings--that is when his growth seemed to take off. Keep talking to him about his dream; especially before bed. Offer him different scenarios with those sheep and they met a doctor hippo in the hospital, or what happened when a horse came over and stopped the tractor. Let him expand on the gift he's given to you...this is huge, Donna. A gift, a key, that will help you unlock many doors...maybe even one to him sleeping alone someday soon.

  3. Oh my goodness, your story brought me back a few years. (a new reader here!) thanks for helping me remember my memories with my little Nicky, too! Much the same sleeping arrangement in my house too.

  4. What a wonderful gift that conversation was... :)