I had gone with my daughter to a school sponsored all night event for second graders.
It promised to be a night full of fun and bonding for the little classmates.
It promised to be an exhausting night for the parents who volunteered.
Both promises were fulfilled.
There were lots of parents but not a parent with each child.
Wrestling mats were rolled out for the kids and parents to use as padding under our sleeping bags.
There were sleeping bags everywhere. Pillows and stuffed animals.
At some point kids were settled. Parents were making sure everyone was calm and ready to sleep.
Lights went out.
And every time I woke up through the night, I would see this little blonde haired girl perched atop one of the still rolled up wrestling mats.
Her eyes were wide. Staring into the night.
All of the parents who woke up checked on her, spoke with her, made sure she was okay.
But she never closed those eyes.
Or came down from her perch.
I can still see her.
Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I picture her, and feel her little bitty self’s anxiety and fear.
And sympathize all over again.