Facing his Nightmares.

2 July 2015

Dear friend,

I woke early this morning. At first I wasn't sure what had made me stir from a deep sleep but then I heard him crying. My two boys are not babies anymore so I have become unused to the early morning call that was once my daily ritual. It took me a minute to work out which one it was then I heard him coming downstairs.

It was a sob, a deep, heart wrenching kind of cry directly from the soul. I knew it wasn't a sick cry, they are more panicked. Isn't is amazing how we can learn these infinitesimal details about our children? It is a kind of base instinct that only parents have.

The big lad climbed into bed and cuddled into me. This confirmed the seriousness of the situation because he very rarely cuddles like this. This was the kind of hug where it feels like you want to climb right into the other person's body to take on their peace and warmth. We stayed like that for some time, until his breathing had calmed. Me whispering; it's ok you're safe, into his hair. 

Selfishly I enjoyed this moment. Not that he was upset but the closeness of us, the physical contact the sharing of our breathing. This happens so rarely now. He's almost 9, a big boy, my grown up young man. Autism means that he seeks my physical contact less, I have learned to wait for him to come to me not to force my love onto him. I treasure these special moments!

Nightmares... the big lad goes through phases of nightmares. Really bad ones that torment him for days. They seem to come more when he is stressed or worried. What is the trigger now? Perhaps they are a side effect of the quickly approaching end of school year. Too much change!

I read somewhere that you shouldn't discuss what they dreamed as it can make things worse but the big lad always needs to get it out. The story tumbles out of him at breakneck speed...

There were 2 mummies. I didn't know which one was the real mummy so I talked to them both. But neither of them were real they were both fakes. You had gone.

Where do these things come from? What do they mean? I don't know I am not a psychologist but I know enough to reassure him that mummy isn't going anywhere! The end of the school year is so busy and there have been late meetings and events that have meant we have spent less time together. He may be growing up and growing up fast but he still needs mummy time and I will always need it too. We are all ready for that holiday.

Wow to be loved that much is really special! What better job is there in the world?

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Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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