Life with Autism

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When Superman Sleeps...

I had one of those thirty-second conversations with my husband the other night.  Because he is the one who has the job that pays the bills, I typically do the night shift with Brandon so he can sleep and be rested for a very demanding job.  Brandon had not been sleeping at night, and he asked me if Brandon had slept the night before.  I remember laughing in reply, "You have no idea what goes on after you go to bed.  It's a whole 'nother world upstairs!"   I think at one point in that night in question when I went in Brandon's room to stop him from jumping up and down -- he had taken all pillows and all sheets off his bed.  Somehow they were all under his bed.  And there he was, just wide awake jumping up and down.  And there I was, at 2am, crawling under his bed to retrieve all the bed things, making his bed, and threatening him with no straws ever again in his life if he didn't get in bed, stay in bed, and SLEEP.  Of course that didn't phase him.  I think not even an hour later I heard him jumping again while playing with the one electronic toy I missed the time I went in there before I found the sheets and pillows under the bed.

I wanted so badly to just say to him, "Fine, when you do get tired, sleep on a bare bed with no pillows.  Or crawl back under your bed and sleep there on the floor with your pillow, sheets, and dust bunnies to keep you company!" 

But I don't. 

I fix the bed, make sure he's clean and dry, and see how close to falling asleep I can once again get, before I have to get up and do it all again.

In how maddening it all is, how could I possibly be mad at this innocent child who is probably as frustrated at it all as I am.

That's the thing that is so hard.  What is his Kryptonite that keeps him awake?  That hurts him?  That frustrates him? 

You just can't imagine what it's like to live that way for so long.  New parents expect that.  To not get more than a few hours sleep.  But for me, my son is nineteen.  I've been doing the work of three shifts of employees in a nursing home type facility.  It's mind-boggling how parents must do that.  And I am fortunate that for me, these all-nighter's come in cycles.  I do get reprieve now and then when he does sleep through the night.  Well that, or those are the times I just too exhausted and don't hear him.

And then there's the times like these when whatever that Kryptonite is, he has defeated for the moment and sleep takes over. 

No matter where he may be at that time.

Sleep my Superman...

Sleep soundly...

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