The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Terror Deep Into the Night

The sound of Nick’s quick steps on the hardwood floor awoke me before I heard his voice at my bedside. 

“Mom,” my eleven-year old said.  “I had a really bad nightmare.  I’m so scared.”

I pulled my covers back and pushed my body upright.  I’m always a bit surprised at how easily I spring into mom mode in the middle of the night.

“I’ll lay down with you, sweetie,” I assured him.

I draped my arm around his shoulders and we walked down the hall to my son’s bedroom.  My husband slept soundly, completely unaware we were awake.

Nick lay down on his stomach, scooting against the wall to give me a slice of his twin bed. 

“Do you remember the dream?” I asked. “Do you want to tell me about it?”

“Yes,” he answered.  “It was so scary.”  His hot cheek lay on mine, his mouth near my ear.  “I dreamt that Sarah Palin was ruler of the nation.”

I stifled a laugh. 

This was my nightmare, too.

“She made all the boys go to doctors for hearing tests.  But instead of a test, they would hear a loud noise and die.  I see all these boys dying.  Falling dead off of chairs, onto the floor.”

“Honey, that’s horrible,” I said.  My heart ached and cringed.

Nick fell back to sleep within minutes. I stayed with him for a couple of hours, drifting in and out of sleep, keeping watch.  I didn’t want him to wake up alone in the dark.

Nick’s prone to nightmares.  He’d had night terrors during his younger years where he would sleep walk and fight off imaginary monsters.  He is not allowed to watch horror movies or violent crime dramas.  Nor can he choose books with scary themes.  

But I had not shut out real life.

Nick joins in discussions with his Dad and me about the presidential election and the war in Iraq.  He understands what a draft is.  He’s been to antiwar rallies with his Dad.  As far as I know, he’s never seen the video footage from September 11th, but he has asked lots of questions this year about what happened that day. 

Maybe real life is just too scary for an eleven-year old boy right now.  Maybe his Mommy needs to keep a better watch out during the daylight hours for what scares him before his dreams are invaded by real terrors.

By Marianne Lonsdale

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What a beautiful piece. We can protect our children from so much but not from the real world. I remember defending my right to watch a scary movie as a child. I insisted to my parents that it was better than the news because I knew it was not real.
Nick's nightmare is one a lot of us share, but I am hopeful we'll soon be living--while sleeping and waking--in a less frightening world.

And he's so lucky to have you to keep him safe.

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