Fear of the night seems to be ingrained in us humans. The dark, the unknown. But for those of us in this community, I believe it takes on a different dimension.
I remember being told when Pearlsky was leaving the neonatal intensive care unit that kids “like her” typically die at night. Sometimes it is from aspiration (mostly), sometimes due to seizures (which may or may not lead to aspiration), sometimes from other causes. I tried to verify this “statistic” but it is hard to find, my guess is that this is anecdotal. But I believe it. And even if it were not a medical fact, the night is scary enough. We are not “watching” our kids, we are not awake and with them, they are sleeping. Next to us, the room down the hall with a monitor, with our ex, but it is night. It is dark. We are not watching them.
David is in a residential facility for a large part because of night terrors. His mother, who has physical custody, had difficulty dealing with the nights (and there were other factors).
If I don’t hear Pearlsky when my alarm clock goes off, or if in the middle of the night I wake up and don’t hear her over the monitor, I check. That is, after my heart skips a beat. Check for what? I check to see if she is still alive.
I CHECK TO SEE IF MY DAUGHTER IS STILL ALIVE. I fucking check every morning to see if my daughter is alive. Who does this? When did I sign up for this?
Our kids die in their sleep.
One of our jobs is to protect our kids. This is every parent’s job, with any kid. We protect them.
From bad people.
From bad food.
From bad weather.
We protect our children, we watch over them.
We can’t at night.
And we can’t when we entrust them in the care of others.
Here is the second part of the three part interview.