It’s true. I have a male sleeping in my bed, every night. He falls asleep without the covers over his legs but then searches for them in the night. We start the night off by sleeping on our own sides but just as he’s about to get into his deep sleep, he scoots over to share my pillow. He doesn’t snore. And he doesn’t drool, but he does require a humidifier. He sometimes sleeps in a way that takes up the entire bed, but when he’s feeling extra lovey, he sleeps right up against me, with his arm draped over me. He sleeps through the night, without having to empty his bladder. He doesn’t always have bad dreams but when he does, they are hard to wake him up from. He’s my best friend and he’s my son.
When Kaleb had just turned 2, he was putting himself to sleep. He was even letting me know when he was ready to go to bed, walking to his own room, climbing in his own bed and starting his own prayers. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever, not to mention, I could hear the mommy angels singing from above, because my kid was an easy bed-timer.
As I’ve mentioned here before, a few months after my husband died, Kaleb’s uncertainty about life started to set in and there was no more easy bed-timing. The first week he started being unsure about his room and his bed, I forced the issue anyway. I made him stay in his room, crying or no crying. I put up a gate and everything. After a week, it only got worse. The fit throwing and crying lasted longer and longer until I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I had my own fit throwing and crying that I wanted to do too; I couldn’t handle dealing with his as well.
I gave in.
I gave in and let him sleep in my bed. I told myself, and him, that it was only temporary. “I’ll make him move out at the end of the year…” “I’ll redecorate his room and get him a really cool bed and then I’ll make him move out…” “Let me get some cool night lights and then I’ll make him move out…” “When he starts his new school, I’ll make him move out…”
It was excuse after excuse, reason after reason. I tried all of those things and the harder I tried, the harder Kaleb cried. The angrier I got, the angrier he got. It was a vicious cycle that never seemed to end and it drove me crazy. I’d lay in bed and think, “if only I could just get a couple nights home alone, with my bed to myself, I’d be tons better.”
Guess what I did when my wish was granted and he stayed with grandma? I cried myself to sleep, both nights. Both nights I curled up in my bed and ugly cried. I had no idea how much I needed Kaleb there, sharing my pillow.
You hear people say, “out of the mouths of babes…” It’s beyond true. Here I was, thinking I was doing Kaleb a favor by letting him sleep with me but the truth of the matter is, he’s helping heal me. When he isn’t there, and the house is bitterly empty and quiet, I honestly don’t know what to do with myself other than cry.
The conversations we have at night are probably my favorite and again, I had no idea what I had until he’s not there. He opens up at night. He tells me more about his day, about his class and about his teachers. He asks me to tell him all the things God has made and we think about people we want to pray for. He even asks me about my day and if I’m happy or sad.
We talk about the inevitable, daddy. It comes and goes in spells. Sometimes he’ll ask about him for a week straight and we discuss, pray and cry. He simply wants to know why he won’t come back to us. My response stays the same throughout, in that, Jesus needed him to be in heaven with Him and we know daddy is very happy because no one is sad in Heaven. It takes him a while to accept that and rightfully so, then he won’t ask about him for the next couple months.
Our night times are truly the best time we have together. We might cry and laugh in the same night. There are some nights where we just tickle each other until we cry.
I’ve gotten many, many comments and “advice” from people regarding the fact that my son sleeps with me. And I know where they’re all coming from. I get it. I would have the same “advice” if I weren’t in these shoes. Eventually, he needs to be in his own bed. Eventually I need to be a sterner parent and lay down the law. Eventually he needs to grow up. Blah blah blah.
Even though, every single morning I wake up with my head resting on or against the night stand because Kaleb is so far on my side, I didn’t cry myself to sleep, and that makes it worth it. The fact I got to hear all the details about my son’s day, makes it worth it. The fact I listened to him pray for “all da sick wittle babies in da hospital”, makes it worth it. The fact that I was there to hold him when he was having a nightmare, makes it worth it. The fact I was able to cover his little bare legs in the night, makes it worth it. And above all, the fact that I’m there when he needs to be reassured that daddy is happy in heaven, makes every shity night’s sleep, with my best friend, worth it.
And that’s the truth about who shares my sheets.