Friday, July 13, 2007

To the rescue

The last few nights, Elijah has been unsettled in the hours between when he is put down and when the whole house goes dark and everyone is asleep. His sudden awakenings are quite violent at times as he shakes his head around with great vigour and crawls anxiously to the head of the bed, all without opening his eyes.

I've been home sick all week, so I haven't been the most helpful of husbands during these odd nocturnal episodes. Last night I was feeling much better so I made sure that I settled the boy at least once.

His cries were urgent right from the start and somehow I just knew that something had scared him. Instinct, I guess. I rushed into his room and I started to stroke and pat him, gently shushing him and whispering "It's okay, Daddy's here. It's alright. Daddy's here. It's okay. Shh. It's okay, Elijah. Shhhhh."

It usually takes about 30 seconds or so for this take to effect and he settles down some more, stops struggling and starts working his way back to sleep. For some reason, last night this wasn't working. His struggles got more violent until eventually I picked him up and cuddled him. He snuggled in to my neck tightly and became quiet but I could feel the tension in his little body.

When I lowered him back into his cot, he started to fret again. His squirming flipped him over on to his back where he finally opened his eyes. Dad?, he asked, in a quiet, croaky and scared voice. Yes darling, it's Daddy. It's okay now, Daddy's here. Shhh I replied, trying to soothe him. Elijah seemed to nod once to himself. Dad. was his firm reply, seemingly satisfied that what was looming above him was indeed his father, here to chase away whatever had startled him from sleep.

Elijah yawned and rolled over on to his side. He didn't close his eyes but he did lay still long enough for me to quietly back out of the room. He must have fallen asleep again soon after as we didn't hear a noise for hours afterwards.

I heard someone once say "You don't get to be a knight in shining armour every day" in response to what it felt like after doing some heroic deed.

I get to be one every night. Life doesn't get much sweeter than this.

Armored knight originally posted to Flickr by wili_hybrid. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.