Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In the middle of the night*, episode 4

*OK, not actually the middle of the night. More like 11:30pm. But still....

I'm reading in bed, (military science fiction) having a glass of chardonnay. Miles is doing same, but he's perusing a volume of beginning Spanish grammar. (spicy, huh?) The window is open above our bed and the crickets are chirping. A pleasant end of the day. A train went by, as it does every night, horn echoing mournfully over the sleepy town of Mayberry.

Then I heard a small, low sound of misery wafting through the dark. I sighed, tossed back my last slurp of wine, threw my book overboard and got outta the bed.

"Clairezie, honey, what's wrong?" I whispered.

"The train is too loud!" she whisper-sobbed. "I can't sleep! It's too loud for me!"

I sat down on the floor next to her bed. She was lying with her head at the foot and her Purple Blanket wrapped around her neck. Her pillow was on the floor. That kid is all over the place in her sleep.

"You know what, Claire?" I asked, running my fingers through her damp hair.

Sniffle. "What?"

It's amazing what she conveyed with that "What?" The message I actually received was, "What can you possibly say to me, Mother, that will make me feel even the slightest bit better about the *suffering* I'm currently enduring?!" Claire's got a real gift of communication.

Undaunted, I soldiered on.

"When I was just a little older than you, I moved to a place where there were 4 train tracks. We only have 1 here in Templeton. And the trains ran all night, and the horns were blowing all night. I learned to sleep through the sound. And you usually do, too. 'Cause the trains have been going by your *whole* life, and mostly, you don't hear them. But when I was little, and I did hear the trains? I liked the sound, 'cause it meant I was warm and safe and cozy in bed."

"Oh," she said with a sniffle, eyeing me like I was trying to put one over on her.

"So, close you eyes and get all cozy with Clairezie Bear and go to sleep, love."

She pondered that instruction for a moment. Then fatigue won out.

"Ok." Sniffle. "G'nite, Mom."

And she grabbed the covers, pulled 'em up to her chin and rolled over.

As I climbed back in bed with my book, "What was her damage?" asked Miles, not looking up from his book.

"Train's too loud."

"Phfft! She better get over that!"

"Yup. Pass the bottle."


  1. love your posts. it makes me feel like I live closer and can be a part of everything. keep 'em coming.

  2. oh, tell claire that we miss that silly old train coming thru' -- if she hears it again, tell the train to go pay a visit to johan, melinda & lucie. maybe it will.

  3. trains, how I like to hear them. I really do. They remind me of my dad who worked at the railroads making sure the rails were in working order for many years. Trains make me happy, especially when you ride on one, they can take you to many places. They are fun and full of adventure.