Sleep Mates

Getting my heavy-sleeper son to use his inhaler when his asthma flares up is impossible, so last night, I carried him into our room to use the nebulizer after he resisted my attempts to wake up and administer his puffs.

I propped him in my spot on the bed, got the nebulizer set up, turned it on, and watched the mist appear around his nose to ease his breathing. Once that started going, I went to get a glass of water, and returned to this.

My husband and son, holding hands, resting contently while the nebulizer hummed. Completely peaceful and serene.

I’m pretty sure there’s a biological explanation as to why I wake up in full-alert mode whenever I hear one of the kids getting sick in the night. Adrenaline running, heart pumping … I’m ready to run a marathon the second I open my eyes to the sound of a kid in distress.

My husband, though? Well, he’s the original deep sleeper of the family. Always has been. He can stay awake at all hours, and has many, many times to take care of me and the kids. But if he’s already out and snoozing? Forget it. If you recall, I went into labor in the bathtub with our first child, and he was asleep in the next room. I was in no condition to climb out of that deep, slippery tub by myself, and it took screaming at the top of my lungs for several minutes to get him to wake up. (Good times.)

Nothing’s changed over the years, and now it’s clear that at least one of his children is also a deep sleeper. Not even an unrelenting coughing fit disturbed my son’s slumber, nor my carrying him to our room and getting him hooked up to the nebulizer.

But somehow, the two of them were aware enough to clasp hands and snooze together, which was so sweet, I didn’t even mind being awake to see it.