In the final hour of blackness, before the shutters of our bedroom are illuminated pale blue by summer’s early dawn, we’re awoken by an unmistakable cry.
Shit, I think. And for once, I was sleeping so well. I hear weeping through the wall, and the sound of my own heartbeat, now racing. We pray that he will fall back asleep unassisted. But we should be so lucky.
In solidarity, we rise together, sandy eyed both. Speech represents wakefulness. Noiselessly, step by step and hand in hand, we make our way across the house, determined to deter morning’s inevitable arrival.
One light switch is turned to its minimum setting, and in the murky darkness, a diaper is quietly changed. Pajamas are reapplied. Then, tiny arms cling to each of us in turn, as we eagerly collect our hard-earned gratuity.
We trace our footsteps back to bed. Heads hit pillows, accompanied by sighs of relief. Thank God, it’s still dark out. We can go back to sleep.
Or can we? Having been disturbed once, the pre-dawn quietude seems too good to be true. Although two sets of eyelids have eased gratefully closed, four ears remain peeled for whimpers.
The smallest sound causes anxiety. Is that him?? No, just something outside… I reach for sleep, and feel it approaching, only to be pushed away again by the noises of the house. This pattern is repeated endlessly until finally, peace draws me in, and I embrace it.
There’s no denying it this time; it’s light outside. And so begins our Sunday morning.