Alligator aggression

My boy has nightmares that he cannot be woken from. Even with his eyes open, you know he is still elsewhere, and touching him often brings little comfort. Last night I heard him screaming from his bed and found him sitting up, tears streaming down, scared. It was the scared look that said this was not the usual, "I'm asleep, but I have to pee, what do I do?!" kind of wake up. We get at least one of those a week. I rubbed his back, soothed him with quiet words in his ear and he clung to me with a fear so real that I slid in beside him to rub his back until whatever he was dreaming about passed. "Alligators." He did his tell tale triple breathe in and sigh out and I started to get back up to sleepily climb back under my own covers. He sensed I was leaving and reached for me and I couldn't leave him. I rubbed him back some more, sang "you are my sunshine" in whispers and before I knew it I was staring at him watching the years go by to a time when I would cherish this ungodly wake up. Those thoughts don't take long to turn into a time when I am older and less involved in his life and more on my way out of this earthly place. It always happens quickly how my thoughts progress from this moment, to the next, to a time in the distant future and then to that sad time when I will no longer be here anymore at all. I can't be the only person who easily slips into anxious fear about that time. I always think the same thing; it is just so short, it is so unfair to get this only to lose it, and I feel pangs that I will miss so much of my children's lives. Those are the times I scrunch my eyes tight at night, feel the weight of my three year-old beside me, his tiny man boy hand clutching my shirt, and keep rubbing his strong back. Before I realized it hours had passed, the sun was rising and Steve was peering down on us. "He couldn't get himself settled," but I wonder if it was the other way around.


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