I like that Grace lives close enough to visit on a whim.
Sometimes those visits turn into days.
We don’t have a guest room. We have a Grace room. Because there’s always room for Grace.
But sometimes it’d be nice if overnights weren’t so easy to be had. If she didn’t think she could no longer sleep in her own bed in her own house for fear of a mouse.
Like last night.
Grace usually has trouble going to sleep. It takes a little reading or a little writing or a little music–some way to wind down.
Sometimes nothing works.
Which is why I got a text message at 12:51 a.m.
“Name r u still up and if u r can u hell me go to sleep like sit on my bed and sing me some songs and give me some benidral plez.”
I think she means “help,” and yes, I’ve been known to slip her a little dose of Benadryl.
I ignore the message and go back to sleep.
Which is why I get a call at 1:22 a.m.
I pick up the phone and hear nothing but shrieking.
Surely someone’s broken in the front door.
So I throw off the warm down and bound downstairs (Dennis is still snoring) and find Grace standing in the middle of her bed shrieking and shaking.
“What’s wrong?” Said not in a grace-filled tone.
“A mouse! I heard a mouse squeak!”
I roll my eyes. I check under the bed. “You’re overtired. You’re imagining things. There’s. No. Mouse.”
I suppose there could be a mouse.
For a moment I wonder if she’s been reading How to Read a Poem. Maybe she found the mouse in there.
I get the Benadryl. I get her to lie back down. I cover her up. I turn to go. “Good night.”
“Don’t go! Stay with me until I go to sleep.”
I sigh a long sigh.
I slide down against the closet door, sit on the cold wood floor. Yes, I could crawl into bed with her, but we’ve learned not to start habits we don’t want ingrained for life.
“Go. To. Sleep.” I growl.
I pull my arms out of my sleeves and hug myself.
I tuck my chin and nose into my T-shirt’s neck.
Finally, she starts to breathe easy, arm slung over edge of bed.
I roll over on my knees to get up. My behind’s frozen.
“Night, Nama. Hug. Thank you.”
I push a cat aside and slip back into my own bed. I check my phone. It’s 2:15 a.m. Dennis is till snoring. I lay there and visit with thoughts and memories and watch the tree branches outside the window.
We don’t have a guest room. We have a grace room. Because there’s always room for grace.
With the Five Minute Friday gang