Sunday, August 5, 2012


I used to mock my mother for waking up the in morning and saying something like, "Who coughed last night?"  But now I'm relating a little too much.

Parental sonar is a wonderful thing. It alerts you to the fridge opening, rocks throwing, fights escalating, toilet water splashing, the kind of manic on-the-brink laughter that always leads shortly to tears, or the kind of ominous silence that means that the kids are up to no good. I can sleep through the garbage truck, but wake up the moment Betsy cries or Jesse's hand is on the bathroom door.

Apparently my sonar has been so finely tuned for so long that it's on hyperdrive. My own personal PTSD. There are enough people here--with Betsy crying or Jesse taking a potty break or Roscoe coming home from a late night with friends or Logan sneaking into the kitchen for a snack or Levi launching into yet another audio book--that there's always something pinging my sonar. (Except Haley, who never wakes us, even when she really, really should.)

My mom hasn't lived with needy youngsters for years, but she still has to sleep with earplugs to muffle her hypervigilance. Ri ght now I have the bathroom fan running to mask the sounds of mayhem from downstairs. I think I need more earplugs.

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