Every Time I Woke Up

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.



27 thoughts on “Every Time I Woke Up

  1. I so hope the little blond haired girl is ok, and that she’s getting some sleep, it’s that little bit of anxiety that doesn’t let us sleep, and I’m sure we’ve all been there, and there’s a piece of that little girl’s fears in all of us, Hope you’re sleeping well tonight Colleen.


    • I hope she got some sleep too Ivor. This was twenty years ago! 🙂 She was well watched over that night, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t by those who normally did the watching over. We knew that was what was wrong.

      I couldn’t help but smile every time I woke up though. It was as if SHE was the one watching over us. 🙂


  2. What a nice story Colleen and again a great picture. I love the big mat and the eyes wide, staring into the night.
    On such an evening, it is often the joyous excitement why the little ones can not sleep. Fewer the fear. If she was afraid, she would certainly have cried.
    It´s so amazing that you can sympathize so much, Colleen!


    • I remember the 2nd grade teacher stayed up ALL night. And he had lights on at one end of the gym. I remember HIM sitting on one of the cafeteria tables watching over everyone too. And whatever parent was awake at the time. That was NOT a good nights sleep. I’ll tell you that!


    • Oh yes. ALL of the kids were good the next morning. Exhausted. But they all loved the experience. I mean…..I can’t remember if it was fifty, or a hundred, but a room full of kids to play with, no school. They loved it. 🙂


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