I was just on the way to bed, and I doubt anybody is up to read this...
Johnny was moaning and crying out under his CPAP mask, full asleep, and breathing distressed. The wife was already abed, so I slid in and began to stroke his lumpy tow-head, and whisper reassurances to him, and I put my fingers in his palm like all of those times when he went into surgery, groggy from drugs, and came back out, comatose, blood running out of his nose.
He settled, as I whispered a song to him, the I love you a bushel and a peck one. The one I sang to him in the hospital, going into the House of Pain, and coming out.
Do you ever check your kids, and swear they're not breathing? And you put your finger under their nose, and when their soft breath blows across it, you nearly cry out with relief?
With Johnny, it could happen every night. The End, I mean. He can't stay awake, but he fears the failing of the light. Bad Things have been done to him in the dark, even in daylight, his eyes covered with cotton and gauze.
The wife can calm and soothe him, when the bad times, the tough sleep, where dark memories gibber and caper comes. But my touch, for some reason I do not understand, sends him deep into REM sleep. Nurses have watched his monitor stats drop, and his oxygen stats increase, when I just lay my hand on his chest. When I sing softly to him, and tell him 'Daddy's here', he slides into some state that feeds me as well.
I call it...