Nighttime Invasions


I have become a relatively small country with no natural borders…

At some point in the night I have been joined by “I had a bad dream” and “My room is too quiet”. Perfectly normal sized three- and four-year-olds, once ensconced safely in mom’s bed, unfurl to gargantuan, circus-freak-worthy proportions. I have two knees magnetized to my ribcage. I have an arm flung Stretch-Armstrong style across my hips. Somehow one of them has ended up upside down & I have a toddler size-10 lodged somewhere at the base of my skull.

I’ve considered bringing a fork to bed for defense.

It is impossible to sleep.

And so I lay there, listening to the wall clock ticking softly, the metal hands shushing across the metal face. I hear small snuffly breathing from the interlopers and louder snores from the one still crib-bound downstairs. And I smile despite myself.

It would be easy to resent my lack of space, of privacy, but I keep relearning how easy it is to lose great chunks of your life due to lack of attention. And I desperately want to remember this. When my family all fits into one small bed. When my heart can be full even if just for a moment, buried under far flung toddler limbs.