“Good job waiting til it’s light out. You didn’t wake up Mommy. High five!” Emma said this morning as I was getting dressed.
“But Em, you did wake up Mommy. Remember? You were crying in the middle of the night for Mommy,” I said.
“You have to pull on Mommy’s robe. Mommy! Can I come get you in the other room?” Emma said looking at me sadly.
“No Em. You have to try to stay in your own bed at night. You have to wait until it’s light out,” I said, peering out the window at the decidedly unlit grey sky. Rain pummeled the sidewalk below. How confusing this must be to Emma. After all it was not light out this morning at 6:30AM when all of us needed to get up and begin our day. In fact, it was extremely dark.
Last night in addition to her ears bothering her, Emma managed to lose her scrap of what was once a blanket, which she calls “Cokie”. The 2:00AM wake up call reverberated throughout our home. I have a vague memory of waking up, confused and saying to Richard, “Is that Emma screaming?” When we are in Colorado Emma’s middle of the night screams sound similar to the coyote, who kill their prey out in the field below our bedroom window.
“Yup,” Richard said wearily.
“Okay. I’ll get her,” I said, donning a bathrobe.
“Yeah. I’ll try to get her back to sleep,” I answered.
When I went into Emma’s room she was sitting on her bed with all the lights on crying, “Cokie! Cokie!”
“Okay, Em. It’s okay,” I said.
“You have to look,” Emma said, helpfully.
“Yes. We have to look. I’ll help you,” I said, digging around under her bed. “Here it is, Em,” I said holding up a tattered strip.
Emma grabbed her Cokie from me and began sucking her thumb. “There you are! There’s Cokie!”
Last night Richard and I, having missed the unusually early starting time of Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, managed to get tickets for Next to Normal. Knowing nothing about the play, we took our seats with no expectations. The play was brilliant. The subject matter though surprising, about a mother who is bi-polar and the burden this places on the rest of the family, is beautifully depicted. Throughout the play I thought of Emma and Nic.
During the first act the mother goes to her psychopharmacologist who tells her it’s an inexact science and later when she again complains about the drugs she has been given, he tells her there is no cure, but asks her to stay with him and not give up on the meds.
While we have not put Emma on medication, we have tried any number of other things. Always with the assurance, whatever it is will help, always with the slight retraction when it has not.
“Sleep, wake up make pancakes?” Emma said this morning.
“Yes, Em, tomorrow we can make pancakes together,” I said.
“It’s Nic’s Mommy,” Emma said pointing to me.
“I am Nic’s mommy. And I’m your mommy too,” I said.
“It’s Mommy,” Emma said, kissing me on the cheek.
I held her to me and said, “That’s right, Em. I love you.”
“It’s light out,” Emma said pointing out the window.
“Yes, Em. It’s light out.”