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My kids are six and ten and I still can’t stand to close their bedroom doors at night. Just like when they were babies, I often wake in the night sure that one or both of them might be in distress. If I leave the doors open between us, I feel like a better mom. With doors open, the slightest noise – a sneeze, or cough, the sound of breathing, or not breathing, or swallowing, or rolling over, or sleep talking, sends my head sproinging off the pillow, and my ears stretching out the door, into the hall and around the corner – the better to hear them with.
“Who’s dying?” I think, or sometimes say out loud. “Did someone call me? Does someone need me?”
If I hear the noise again, I pop up like a nervous dog. More often than I should admit, I’m tiptoeing into the next room to check pulses. Just to make sure. Some might ask “Why don’t you just close your bedroom door and tune out the extraneous noise?” To that I answer “Oh the noises will still be there. I just have to strain harder,and stay more alert, to hear them through the wood.
To that, some might offer “Shut your daughters’ doors as well. Certainly then you wouldn’t be disturbed by every peep you hear.” To that I say, I tried that once or twice and it was living hell. I know. Pathetic.
Sometimes Ian shuts Isla’s door absentmindedly, or not, when he comes out from wrestling her to bed. On those nights