So says the Little Person.
At almost 5 am. After crying for hours. Really since 2:30. All those minutes ticked by very slowly. It reminded me of the bad old days when she regularly had meltdowns in the middle of the night. ( I am grateful that these are increasingly rare.) It has been an emotional week and I know that she’s working through a lot. So as the time went by, I tried to stay compassionate and put my sleepy energy into being gently present and holding and breathing. Easy but wearying. I was so relieved when she did calm down and tearfully whispered, “Tell me a story.”
I wasn’t even sure I had the energy to tell a story. I just wanted to get a little sleep. I took a breath and began, “Once upon a time…”
LP burst into tears, “No, no. Tell me a story and make it a GOOD story.”
It is a funny thing to think about what “good” means at almost 5 am. The first things that come to mind are about creating a rich, detailed world with compelling characters and an interesting story arc. No way can my overtired brain do that. No. No. No. No. That’s what starts repeating in my head.
Deep breath. Because even in that moment of “no,” I know that isn’t what LP is asking for. She’s asking for a story that is familiar and comforting. She’s asking for a story she can relax into. While in the moment, I don’t know what the exact elements of that story are, I trust she and I can figure that out together.
In the end, I told her a simple story about two bunnies, Violet and Simon (characters from a favorite book), and their dog Lucy. She chimed in occasionally to keep the story on the track she wanted which was a very ordinary day story. The story helped her settle down and transition from her upset state back into sleep. Nothing exciting about it. No adventures. No big upsets or triumphs. It was a bare bones kind of story that described an ordinary day.
So having been rescued from having to achieve my version of “good,” the story was done and then we got a tiny bit of sleep.