Friday, October 16, 2015

An October Story

First, some background. My son, nine years old, has always had a lot of sleep issues. He wakes up a lot, and usually in a panic. It’s been better lately, but all that did was get me used to the luxury of sleep only to snatch it away again. My daughter, eleven, never wakes us up. She’s calm. Quiet.

Very quiet.

So this morning at 4 AM when my son entered our room, freaking out about a buzzing noise in his ear, I tried the usual. Make him pee, give him a quick kiss, collapse back into bed silently burning with resentment that somehow all those years ago I became the Middle-of-the-Night-Parent. (I love you, husband, but yes: BURNING WITH RESENTMENT.)

Two minutes later the sound of footsteps racing down the hall yanked my weary eyes back open. “The buzzing! It’s back!” My son trembled, hands over his ears, eyes so wide even in the dark I could see the whites.

I begrudgingly trudged back to his room. I swept across his pillow, half-heartedly searched for the source of the noise. I looked and listened for any bugs. There was nothing.


I told him as much, but he was still shaking. He refused to lie back down in his bed, bathed in the orange glow of his salt-rock lamp.

“Sweetheart,” I said, exhaustion putting an edge on my normally patient voice. “There is no buzzing. There is nothing here. Go back to sleep.”

“Is he talking about the buzzing?”

We both turned, startled, to see my daughter. She leaned in the doorway. When she had gotten there, I had no idea. She doesn’t wake up. She doesn’t cause problems.

“The buzzing,” she said again, her voice quiet and lacking any emotion. “I used to hear it, too.”

And then, as quietly as she had appeared, she melted back into the darkness.

Anyway, that’s the story of how my son will never sleep again, and neither will I.


Andrea said...

Creepy story. Made me laugh.

Rebecca T. said...

This reminded me of Kenneth Oppel's new book The Nest, which you should probably not let your son read if you ever want him to sleep again, even though it was a very fascinating read.

LauraN said...

Basilisk pipes


Feisty Harriet said...


....when did we grow up?!? (My stepson just turned 13 and I had to sit myself down and have a chat about how there are Adultier adults than me and it's okay that your kid will be DRIVING in 3 years...gaaah)