• Carmen Rempel

The Gentle Art of Silent Bedtime Sneaking

Updated: Apr 11

The snoring started at 67.

I counted.

I always count.

Its like doing reps at the gym, but I'm in slippers instead of Aesics.

Instead of standing on a padded floor soaking in sweat,

I'm laying in a bed speckled in tears,

and instead of lifting weights I'm lifting nightmares and flashbacks out of my child's head with every stroke.

I rub her back gently as she fights for sleep.

68...69...70...71...

Even though the snoring has started I'll keep going until 100,

Just to make sure she is fully under.

Then goes the most difficult process of the night,

carefully extracting my right arm from her grip without waking her.

I'm lying beside her on the narrow bottom bunk.

She's laying on my right arm, face down, and I'm rubbing her back with my left.

I move my body first,

its a controlled fall/roll to the floor, my right arm remaining where it is, pinned.

Then, with silent patience and the gentlest of movements I try sliding my captured arm out of its prison without waking the sleeping dragon.

It doesn't work.

As I move she stirs and rolls over, releasing me.

"Thanks Mama..." she murmurs, and immediately the snoring begins again.

I smile and rearrange the blanket to cover her,

I back over out of the room silently,

I trip over her backpack and go crashing out of the room in a cocophany of noise that could wake the dead.


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