Bad dreams

Bad dreams

I sense him standing next to the bed before I hear him.
He seems smaller than usual and he’s standing there not wanting to wake me.
“Mum.” He touches my shoulder. “Mum, can you come?” he whispers.
My eyes become accustomed to the dark. The digital clock reads 2.15am. I can tell he’s anxious. I can sense he’s upset.
He just stands there looking awkward. “Sorry mum. I’m really sorry.”

At 11 they still have bad dreams. They still need a comforting hand to hold theirs, tuck them back into bed and tell them all will be OK.
He can’t just drop back off to sleep he says because the minute he closes his eyes the dream comes back.
Will I sit on the bed with him? Will I talk for a bit?

I sit on his bed in the dark as he lies back down and pulls the duvet up under his chin. It’s a bit chilly as I didn’t stop to pick up my dressing gown. I foolishly didn’t go to bed until late, so I’m really tired.
We talk about what we’re doing at the weekend, the holiday we have coming up, the Scouts adventure he’s going on soon and it all helps. I can feel that gradually he is becoming less tense, he chuckles a couple of times, his eyes are smiling. Then he says in a groggy, half-asleep voice “thanks mum, you can go now if you want” and he turns over and settles himself back to sleep.

It’s really quite cold, I am uncomfortable, unlikely to drop back off to sleep quickly and know I’m going to suffer in the morning when the broken sleep catches up on me . . .
BUT boy, BOY I wouldn’t trade these moments in for anything.
Moments when I am the solution. I have the answer. He needs me like he needed me when he was little.
We bond over a nightmare and I’m holding onto these moments with both hands because he’s growing so fast and becoming so independent and I’m needed less and less.
So sitting on the edge of his bed, in the chill of the night, feels like a gift.


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19 Responses to Bad dreams

  1. os/ns mom says:

    Such a sweet post. Everyone had bad dreams once in a while no matter how old.

  2. Melanie says:

    What a lovely post, you captured how I feel about my eldest growing up perfectly, at time she still needs me, and when she does I seem to squeeze her just that little bit tighter now. Mum's have the best job in the world through the good times and the bad.

  3. Expat Mum says:

    Awww…can so relate. My teen boy used to have the most dreadful nightmares and for two years (around age 4) would come into my room to tell me about them etc. Only recently he told me he still has them. At 18, he's a bit big to come to me for help, but as someone who also has dreadful nightmares, I still feel terrible that he's having them.
    My recent post Being Blessed

    • Tara says:

      It's so upsetting isn't it? You want to be able to take them all away but it's something totally out of your control and I guess is all down to them. We went through a stage when he was about 8 when he wouldn't drop off to sleep because he was afraid he'd have a bad dream. He listened to a hypnotherapy relaxation track on someone's recommendation and it totally 'cured' him after 3 or 4 nights. Maybe it's worth a go?
      My recent post Bad dreams

  4. sarahmo3w says:

    What a beautiful post. So sad that he has such horrible dreams, but lovely that he still comes to you for comfort. My daughter has been having difficulty dropping off to sleep lately and likes me to sit outside her room. It seems strange when she's 8, but we do what we can to look after her children, however old they are.
    My recent post Silent Sunday 11.5.14

    • Tara says:

      Oh Sarah, that's so horrid. We had something similar with Dan when he was 8 (as I mentioned in my reply to Expat Mum's comment above). He was so afraid he'd have a bad dream he found it really hard to go to sleep and constantly kept calling me back into his room so I was around. He listened to a hypnotherapy relaxation track from another blogger and it totally helped him after a few days. He went back to dropping off at the drop of a hat like before! Really worth a try. Ours was from Dawn at @The_Moiderer
      My recent post Bad dreams

      • sarahmo3w says:

        Thanks very much, that's really good to know about the hypnotherapy relaxation. Amazingly she went straight to sleep last night, which never happens on a Sunday!
        My recent post SORN

  5. Aww, love this. With my eldest at 11, I know what you mean. I once told him to never stop asking for cuddle in bed, and to this day, he still remembers…and still asks, thankfully x
    My recent post pump i’r penwythnos #2

  6. hljd says:

    Oh bless. Lovely post x

  7. Susan Mann says:

    Such a lovely post. Other than the tiredness I love my during the night chats with my oldest. Bad dreams aren’t nice though x

  8. jessicamilln says:

    My youngest son is 13 and recently broke his finger playing cricket. He said nothing at school because he's not a 'wuss' apparently. He refused painkillers when the nurse in A&E suggested he should take some.

    But when his big brother upsets him by calling him names…and the teenager in him takes the slightest insult all too personally. All he needs from me is to listen to him, while he retells something that to me sounds irritatingly trivial and repetitively familiar and that I really don't want to hear again. Because, he says, along with a hug, it makes him feel better.

    I sincerely hope I can still perform the magic of being able to comfort him when it gets much more serious as he gets older too.

  9. EmmaK says:

    What a great post. They are times you can't get back and, hopefully, will make you closer with your children as they get older.

  10. So beautifully written and very poignant x

  11. Lovely post. They do need us at times, and I don't think that will ever change – whatever stage of life they are at x

  12. Tanita says:

    Oh my goodness. This post really touched me. What lucky children you have. What a lovely mum you are, keep loving your children the way you do, they are very privileged to have you as their mother (and guide) through their life journey.

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