But the biggest bit I’d forgotten is how many times you are up and down during the night when the rug-rats are wee.
At some dark hour, long after I’d sacked out in the guest room, I heard the sort of crying that requires some sort of intervention. While my wide-awake brain is well aware of how old my children are, my half-asleep brain rolled over to see if my husband had already gotten up to deal with the crying. He wasn’t in bed with me, so I assumed he had.
Then I woke up a little bit more and realized I was not in my own bed.
And woke up a little more and remembered that I’d come to Pittsburgh alone.
And woke all the way up and realized that, even if I did get out of bed to do something about the crying to give my friends a break, I’d only make it worse because the poor kid would be confronted with a relative stranger when all he wanted was his mom.
And, then, secure in the knowledge that the crying wasn’t my problem, I went right back to sleep, which is a defense mechanism that I’m happy to see I still have from my own small-child years.
Which isn’t to say that small children don’t have their perks, too. It was weird to be with kids who actually seemed to want to be with me. Perhaps it was simply because I was a novelty — but my friend’s kids listened to what I said. One even requested that I read that night’s pre-bed story, which was a high compliment indeed.
My own children — the ones I carried around in my very own body and brought into the world after hours of mind-blowing pain — no longer hear the sound of my voice. So it was fun to be listened to, if only for a few days.