I told Steve last night at bedtime that I think Caroline took an extra souvenir home from The Cape. We had been talking about Caroline and her nightmares. Since we arrived home from vacation two weeks ago, she has only slept through the night without waking up crying twice. One of those times was at the beach and the other was this past Monday.

She is afraid of her room. She cannot verbalize what she is afraid of, but the look of absolute terror on her face when we try to coax some details out of her is almost painful to watch. Here is her room, a place meant to be peaceful and hers, and she is afraid of it. She cowers in bed during these discussions, as if afraid of even speaking about the details, not wanting some unseen thing to hear her talking about it.

She hears noises in the night that frighten her, which she cannot describe. I thought if she could, I might be able to provide a bit of reaility. You know an explanation of the "that scratching you hear is the branch outside the window" variety. Then she hit us with the one that sends shivers down MY spine. She wakes up because something is tapping her side to wake her up. When she hit us with that one, I made eye contact with Steve, and I was frozen in fear for her. At first I tried to reassure. "Mommy and Daddy tuck you in when we come to bed at night, it's probably just us you feel tucking you in." Of course, this could not possibly be true because we tuck her in around 10:30 and she wakes up crying between 2AM and 3AM. I'm actually starting to consider a spirit of some kind as a logical explanation because her experience with these wake ups is so real to her and truly terrifying. I know that these types of nightnares are in the range of normal for kids her age. I still cannot push the possibility of a souvenir from our trip from my mind.

We sprayed "Monster Spray" together in her room. I asked her to specifically spray extra on the spots she thinks whatever is bothering her is hiding out. It's just water and glitter that you need to shake to activate before spraying or it won't work. She really got involved in this, asking me to be sure to spray Connor's room too. We spray it every couple days, but I bet it might work better if we did it everynight. I just don't know if I can get behind her having to spray something every single night to sleep.

There's a lot going on right now. There is a lot of crappy grown up stuff on my mind. I have shared plenty of times that I am the girl who goes to bed and is instantly asleep. Monday night I found myself wide awake as time ticked away and it got later and later. I started watching a movie on Lifetime and even that couldn't put me to sleep. I sat in the living room for awhile, staring out the window, anxiously trying to make sense of the madness and put my life in order. I scribbled in my notebook where I keep the running brainstorm about a business idea. Instead of feeling like I had accomplished something with this, I was feeling more overwhelmed. I've been looking, finding very little, and even interviewing for jobs that won't help me pay the mortgage. My rule of working is that if I can't be with my kids, I better be doing something I believe in that also allows me to do more than buy them new shoes. The most recent salary offer would have had me cobbling their shoes at night in the attic. This is a tough order to fill and I am starting to feel the pressure of unhappiness and a feeling of entrapment. My own spirits, haunting my day and night, a monster I can't quite describe, but overwhelming and scary.

Once I had perseverated on my situation for long enough I walked back down the hallway towards the bedrooms. I sat beside Connor's bed, brushed the hair off his very serious brow, tucked him in and smiled at the sweetness of his slumber. The only time he sits still. I poked my head in on my girl, who I was anticipating would be waking up crying in about an hour. I "zooged" her in her sleep, righting her in her little nest, and she rolled over and smiled at my touch in her sleep. I lay down with her and she snuggled right in beside me, sighing loudly in her sleep. I closed my eyes and held her close and aligned my breathing with hers. I lay down with her to comfort her, to envelop her in love and safety. Color me surprised to discover that I was instantly at peace with her. Though I was holding her in my arms, I was the one who felt surrounded by her love. The worries slipped away, along with my insomnia.

There were no nightmares that night and all was quiet in the house, even my racing brain.


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