The sky was dark. Rain pelted against the windows, angrily battering the glass. A flash of lightning lit up the storm’s fury. Somewhere nearby, a toddler’s cry startled an otherwise unconscious mother awake.

“What is that?” She wondered.

There it was again. Another flash of light. Another cry. Wearily she stumbled towards the door, muffling a harsh word as she stepped on an upturned little car. In the fog of her sleep-addled brain woke a familiar yet vague disbelief at the agony such a small toy could make. Onward she continued toward the increasingly terrified cry of that youngest child. Finally she made it to his bedside, secretly astounded that nothing else had maimed the soft arch of her feet. Quietly she tried to soothe her son back to slumber, but to no avail. For every time that she almost succeeded, another angry flash lit up the night, and startled him once again.

A short time later, she admitted defeat, and brought him back to her bed. He laid his head on her shoulder, and calmed. Relieved, she attempted to return to sleep, but with no success. Once her baby relaxed into a light slumber, she listened to the rain. Watched the flashes. And chuckled to herself, because while this little babe startled awake with the wind, her oldest child had passed out, completely oblivious to the tumultuous monsoon outside. A soft whisper to her right brought her back to reality.

“Hon, I can sleep with him, he doesn’t wake me up.”

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely, give him here.”

She held her breath, hoping not to wake him as he was transferred to his father’s arms. Thankfully, the pass was uneventful. Relieved, she drifted into a light, fitful sleep, as the storm continued unrelentingly. Time passed. Awoken once again by the rain against the window, she became aware of her sleeping son and husband. A sigh of relief escaped. Stealthily she crept to the other side of the bed, avoiding the noisiest squeaks in the floor, and amazingly, the tiny cars as well. Carefully she picked her little one up, praying he wouldn’t wake. He slept on. Navigating the minefield, she laid him back in his own bed, covered him with his blanket, and silently closed the door. Stopped. Listened. Held her breath as another flash shone through the windows. Nothing. Back into bed she slipped, and as the storm continued, she drifted off into sleep once again.

The Handler.

PS: True story. Massively ugly storm. Amazingly supportive husband. Extremely sore foot. Vengeful promise to self about remedying the cars on the floor. Thought it sounded better in story form than “last night we had a terrible storm, stepped on a car and tried not to swear, couldn’t get Littlest to sleep, got him to snooze and couldn’t sleep myself, was saved by husband, woke up later to transfer him back to bed, he slept through that part, Biggest didn’t wake up period, and I woke up again at 4 wondering who had put Littlest back to bed”. Skipped 3 mile run due to large headache. Enjoy!


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