Last night my 2-year-old son woke up several times. By the third time, he'd come into my room and I knew he didn't need anything - no milk, no diaper change, nothing like he usually does. I scooted over in bed and pulled him under the covers beside me and within a minute or two he was sound asleep. Just like that.
This may be typical for any other parents, but not for me. Actually, it's been a year since my little one has slept beside me. I can recall exactly when it was - on vacation, in an Orlando hotel...our first night there after a late check-in. My then 1 1/2 year old was confused and upset so I finally got him to calm down and he fell asleep beside me. The rest of the vacation he (thankfully) slept in the port-a-crib I had taken with us.
Last night it was comforting to feel his little body against mine, to hear his soft breathing, and to know he was just there.
This weekend I found out two of my close relatives are sick, one is in critical care in the hospital and another is awaiting diagnosis for something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I've been thinking of them both non-stop all weekend. I also read a great magazine article about survivors of the recent US tornadoes that tore through cities months ago, leaving shredded houses and destroyed lives in its wake. The article featured several families that survived - a reminder of how precious life is, how unexpected life can be.
I didn't expect to find my son asleep beside me last night, but I relished it. What a comfort to know that we both have each other today.
Comfort can have so many different meanings for us which may not necessarily be the same. I find comfort in moments: snuggling on the couch with my bf and our dog, Hayley, as we find a movie we love playing (this weekend, it was Napoleon Dynamite!); hot chocolate at the end of the day; Bob telling me everything's gonna be alright; being behind a camera; making myself giggle; the silence around me on a secluded hike. What I find hard, though, is knowing how to comfort another when they need it. It's hard to find the right words to say--and this coming from someone who labors over her words compulsively!
This weekend, I found myself thinking about comfort during a family celebration for my bf's birthday. An unexpected dilemma occurred which resulted in the grown-ups discussing the news and me with the nieces chasing fireflies. I didn't want to overstep any boundaries and thought by keeping the kids occupied, the adults could discuss freely. Until my bf's mother sought me out and I was left scrambling for those words. I want everyone to be happy so seeing her cry made my search for the perfect comforting thing to say even more difficult. Bob came to mind without the same results he usually has on me. So I hugged her and told her that we were there for her and would all figure it out together.
I wish there was some magic thing that one could do or say that would make everything alright and provide comfort as needed. I hope I had an effect on her and was able to at least let her know she wasn't alone. And that it provided her some solace.