Last night seemed very, very long.
We've been plagued by a stretch of oppressively hot, humid weather that's been punctuated by thunderstorms. Last night we got the worst of them so far. At first Chloe and Ethan (who has a robust fear of lightning and particularly power outages that might affect his time on Wii) slept through it. But when a crash shook our house I heard both of them stirring and saw Ethan cowering in bed, shielding his eyes. We're not used to bad storms here. Dan and I have an ongoing joke that thunderstorms seem to purposely miss our part of town, so the kids haven't had much practice coping with them.
This storm was decidedly NOT passing us by. I can't remember the last time I saw so much lightning. For a little while I just sat in the dark and watched night momentarily become day, over and over and over. Then I tried to urge them to go back to sleep.
"Mommy, mommy, mommy!" I heard from the hallway, where Chloe was standing forlornly, clutching a book. Dan caved first.
"Would you like to come in our bed?" he asked. She haphazardly climbed up next to us and sprawled out.
A few minutes later Ethan was standing over us. He in particular had not liked the way thunder had crashed, then the power had gone out for a half-second before surging back on. For a while he just hung out at the foot of the bed, his head half-slumping. I could see how tired he was.
"Do you want to come up?" I asked. I knew he was especially enjoying the coolness of the room, as the kids only had a fan, not an air conditioner and most of the house felt like a sauna.
He climbed to the foot of the bed. Before I knew it, he had managed to stretch out width-wise across the foot of the bed, just below our feet. He was out cold.
Chloe kept twisting and turning and performing near acrobatics. Was this what this girl always did in order to fall asleep? She kept mumbling about last week, and the thunder we'd encountered on top of a mountain in Maine. "The thunder is going to the mountain," she said, as it started to die down.
Somehow as time went by Dan and I were pushed to the far edges of the bed while Chloe took over a large section in the middle. Then the cat decided to hop on the bed and yowl in my ear, then look around for a spot.
My eyelids were drooping. I just wanted to sleep. With all of the feet and arms and elbows in my face an old song I remembered singing in grade school by John Denver started running through my head, over and over:
It'd hold eight kids, four hound dogs
And a piggy we stole from the shed
We didn't get much sleep but we had a lot of fun
On Grandma's feather bed