Worries in the Night

Usually it’s my own anxiety that wakes me up in the middle of the night, but last night it was my daughter’s. At 2 AM or so, she crawled into my bed, crying. She nudged up to me curled in a ball. I asked “what’s wrong? bad dream?” She said, “No. Ivy is 4.” “Yes. She is 4.” I rubbed her back hoping she’d fall back asleep but she went on… “Next she’ll be 5…then 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11” she counted slowly stopping at “then she’ll be 12…and eventually she’ll die.” “That’s true” I said, “but that’s a long time from now… in fact, some animals live longer than you expect. One of my best friends has an 18 year old cat!” “But mom, cats live longer than dogs.” “You’re probably right. Is there something else that’s worrying you? Do you know another dog or someone else who died recently?” “No. Just thinking about Ivy.”… “OK. Well, let’s try to go back to sleep sweetie and talk about this in the morning, ok? I’m right here with you.” “But I can’t sleep.” “Are you sure? You haven’t really tried, have you?” “I can’t stretch my legs out.” “Oh why not?” “because Ivy growls every time I try.” “oh” I laughed out loud, forgetting Ivy was in my bed too… “I wondered why you were in a ball! OK, If I move Ivy over, do you think you can go back to sleep?” “I think so”. So I moved Ivy over and my daughter fell fast asleep again, but unfortunately I was up the rest of the night worrying about things like death and then everything else and nothing in particular.


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