Monday, February 1, 2010

Night Terrors

            At 11pm last night Celia woke up crying hysterically. As usual, Michelle creaked out of bed and went to console her. Usually Celia calms down as soon as Michelle becomes visible, but this time she continued to scream even after a couple of minutes. I crawled out of bed and plodded down the stairs to see what was the matter.
            Michelle was holding our wailing and squirming daughter down in Celia’s new bedroom. I looked at Michelle. “What’s wrong?”
            “I don’t know.”
            “Come here Sweetie.” I sat cross-legged on the carpet, reached out to Celia and gathered her into my lap. Celia desperately grasped for a nearby book before she nestled into my lap. I suppose the familiarity of Daddy reading her a book was her instinct to find some level of comfort.
            I read her the book quietly, and she calmed down, although I still felt her angst deep in her spirit. I finished the book and started to sing. At first I sang made up words, “I love you my little sweetheart. Everything’s okay. We’re here for you Darling.” Then, I sang her a familiar lullaby, “Lay down, my dear Celia. Lay down and take a rest...”
            I felt Celia calm significantly.
            After finishing the song, I prayed over her, passed her back to Michelle, and went back to bed.
            As I was walking up the stairs, I had a distinct sense of how privileged I am to be a parent. Of course, on a basic level, my daughter disturbed my rest. But on a deeper level I felt honored to be the one who gets to comfort her. Michelle and I are the ones she turns to for her deepest love, and as we give her that love we feel loved and blessed in return. What a wonderful gift!
            I still don’t know what was wrong. It could have been physical – indigestion, gas, or the ache from her new teeth coming in. It could have been psychological or spiritual – bad dreams or fears. I don’t know. A friend told me that the “night terrors” begin around this age. That could be it, I suppose. In some ways it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Celia knows she is loved, and that we’re there for her. And for me and Michelle, we’re been given a new reminder of just how much we love this girl.
            Yet another opportunity to share love in our family!

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