It is not unusual at our house for children to wake up in the night. For a long time, at least one person would wake up each night needing something. And then we have nights were multiple people are waking multiple times. Those are the killers. My plan of action is usually to wake up just enough to attend to the need so that I can hopefully get back to sleep. When Safa wakes, we rarely know why unless she is sick. Eden rarely wakes up, but if she does, it's because she is sick or had a bad dream. But Ava takes after her mama. She has a lot of bad dreams. She wakes because she needs water, has an itchy mosquito bite, or just plain old can't sleep. And a handful of times she has woken to ask a question that REALLY could have waited until morning. When Ava and Eden wake up they come to our doorway and call in a sing-song voice (all three call in exactly the same way), "Maaaama or Paaaapa, Maaama or Paaapa" and one of us gets up. So last night this happened. And I walk over and see Ava.
"What's up, sweetie?"
"Uh, I'm sorry if I shouldn't have woken you up for this, but I wanted to show you something." Her voice is cracking and she sounds worried. She's starting to cry. She's afraid I'm going to be cranky because she woke me up for no good reason.
"What do you want to show me?"
"There's a full moon and I want you to see it." My heart melted. I wanted to hold her forever.
So we hold hands and she leads me to the bathroom window. And she points to the moon. And through the trees, only at Ava's head level, I could see the moon. I thank her for showing to me and walk her back to bed.
When I get into bed it takes me an hour and a half to fall back to sleep. But it was worth that moment with her.
When my children show me their world, it is a gift. If I'm smart, I wake up enough to receive it.