Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going Visiting

I'm off today to see my best friend, Chris. Yes, she was just here. Yes, it's only been a couple of months since I last went to see her. We planned two trips close together because she's in Colorado, ostensibly house sitting for her parents (turns out they will be there, rather than traveling, but that's another story), which makes the trip much faster and cheaper.

I have to admit to feeling a little guilty about planning it when we did. I felt like it was maybe too much time away from my family. And Max was still here when it was planned. And Davan kind of freaked out about the last time I left, even though she thinks it's great that I get to visit my friend. However, I won't go again for a while after this....and I made it a bit shorter than I might have if I hadn't been feeling guilty.

I don't leave until this evening and I get back Sunday evening well before bed time.

After Max left, I felt guilty about the timing. We have to plan his move around this trip, in part. Would Davan be okay with me leaving when we'd just had this major disruption?

Well, it seemed she would be. Yesterday afternoon at gymnastics, I was telling a friend how calm and collected she seemed to be about the whole affair. We were speculating about what a difference a calm home life can mean. Gee, what's the difference between this visit and the last one? A lack of a disturbed brother. All felt okay in regards to the trip and I let my guard down to enjoy our last evening together before I go.

Fast forward to about an hour after Davan fell asleep while I was still reading, but very close to turning out the light. She showed up in our room, crying. She'd had a dream that I'd left and not come back. I comforted her, hugged her and she went on back to bed.

She came back about a half an hour later, with me well into trying to sleep myself, crying because she couldn't fall back asleep and kept thinking about me leaving. Now, during the day, I'd have a lot of patience for this. She's going through a rough time right now, after all. And I'm leaving. Temporarily, of course, but still leaving.

At night, though? Well, night time parenting isn't where I shine. I have sleep fixations. I have a hard time falling asleep myself. The hardest thing about her 0-3 years or so was the sleep deprivation. I was always, always tired.

Davan used to sleep with us. She was four when we moved into our new-to-us house and started mostly sleeping in her own room. She still joined us many nights, but not in our bed, as we'd gone down to a double with the move. She'd sleep on a mat on the floor in her sleeping bag. This worked for a while...

Anthony really wanted her in her own room, so we worked on it. She'd go back for a stretch, then have a bad night and come back. That would have been okay - every now and then coming for a night, but one night would lead to the next and the next and it'd be an issue again.

When Max moved in, we finally put our foot down. Davan needed to be in her own room. By this time, she'd been in her own room to sleep the vast majority of the time anyway. Anthony was adamant about Max not getting any ideas about sleeping in our room. I found that when I did sleep in the same room as the kids, I slept very poorly now. I couldn't sleep though the night time breathing, shifting, talking in sleep. Sometimes, though, I think the bonding of all sleeping in our room might have been beneficial. Or maybe it would have driven me completely bonkers - being sleep deprived on top of all the day time behaviors.

Back to last night. Davan is there, crying, "I don't know what to do! What should I do, Mom?" Now, as open as I am to giving advice, whenever I've done so at night like this, no matter how calmly delivered, I get grief, "I can't think about good things! I hate counting! I can't lay still and breath deeply!"

So, last night, at our second encounter, I said, grumpily, "I don't know what you should do, Davan. Whatever I say, you'll tell me you can't do it. I'm sorry you're having a hard time. I hate not being able to sleep. Yes, I'm leaving, but, yes, I'm coming back. Wild horses couldn't keep me away from you. I'd never leave and not come back. Good luck with the sleep."

She left, crying even louder. I temporarily felt badly about this, but, it didn't last. She was asleep very shortly there after and so was I. Sometimes these night time episodes have lasted hours....maybe being grumpy is the way to go. Or maybe I shouldn't make a habit out of it. Whichever.

This morning, Davan just woke up with a smile on her face and, after our morning hug and song, is off to tackle chores. I should join her.

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