Last night Tyler started screaming just before 2:00 a.m. “MAMA!” his terrifed, verge-of-tears voice rang out. “MAMA!”
I leapt out of bed, imagining the worst, and ran to his room. He had gotten out of bed and was wandering down the hall towards the living room, and when he turned around, I could see that while the lights were on, no one was home in his head. He was asleep, in the clutches of some night terror.
Relieved that he wasn’t being axe-murdered by ninjas, I steered him back to his bed and wiped the tears off his cheeks. He was still within seconds.
And all I could think was, “Thank goodness he was over here.”
As parents, as mothers, we want to kiss every boo-boo and heal every little hurt. As divorced parents, we are legally prohibited from doing so by the nature of custody/visitation agreements. And it’s times like last night, at 2:00 in the morning, when I am intensely jealous of those parents whose exes have abandoned them.
I know, it sounds awful. And the burden of single-handedly raising a child is heavy. But so is missing your child, and wondering if he’s missing you, or if he’s calling out for you in the night. I wonder if he’s done that at his father’s house, and I wasn’t there to catch him. If he wanted me, and I missed it.