Two nights ago (mornings?) it was a sad, "mom, my throat hurts real bad," that woke me in the wee hours. Then, there were molasses minutes, draining from a long night, feeling a feverish forehead, doling out the medicine, making a pallet for the two of us to lie together, rubbing his back and waiting for his breathing to slow.
I tried, oh how I tried, but I could not go back to sleep.
All the next day he grew sicker and sicker, and I held him and tried to keep the others separated and occupied. And all the while I yawned and wished for sleep.
That night, he tossed and turned, made mad dashes for the bathroom and moaned.
And of course, I wouldn't have been anywhere but by his side, though I did have lots of waking dreams about how nice it would be to be floating in the land of Nod.
My guy got a lot better yesterday, as I steadily grew more and more irritable. All I could think was, "I'm. just. so. tired."
So, when night came, and I thought I'd finally get some rest, it broke my heart to find that I could not go to sleep.
Toss. turn. toss. turn.
At last blissful sleep came, near about four whole hours of it.
You know that you are really tired when big noises don't even wake you. You just fold them right into your dreams.
For me, it was just dinosaurs, flocks of pteranodons squealing through the trees, that were making all that noise. Nothing to worry about, no reason to rise.
That is until I heard "MAMA!!!!! MAMA PLEASE!!!!! THE CHICKENS!!!!" and I was jarred awake by the horrible panicked cries of my oldest boy (the same who'd been so sick) and his beloved chickens.
I ran to the yard, barefoot, in nothing but my t-shirt and my drawers, to see a possum chasing our chickens around their coop, and our poor girls scared out of their little feathered heads.
I opened the door, and they scattered. I threw rocks at the possum and he did too, and then I went in to quiet and calm my little man, and wish, with all my might that I had my husband's God given talent for sleeping through anything and everything.
About 20 minutes crept by before that horrible nasty critter returned. This time I had my big hiking stick and chased him, whacking like the crazed woman that I'd become (but missing by a mile), less out of concern for the blasted chickens and more because I just want some bloody stinking sleep before I DIE!
The creature didn't return before daylight, but neither did sleep.
My boy rejoiced with the coming of the dawn that all his ladies were safe, if missing a feather or two.
He wondered if this is how the Ingalls felt when the morning light broke after their long night listening to war cries.
He has a flair for the dramatic.
I don't know where he gets that.
So I guess, today, I'm likely to be trying my best to possum proof a chicken coop, and tracking down a trap, or a bazooka, one.
You do realize there'll be no sleep tonight either right?
It's such a good thing that they're cute.
It's what keeps me going.
That, and a whopping load of caffeine.