Several years ago J and I downsized from a king-sized bed to a queen. First, we were moving into a newly renovated, former attic space with odd angles, and a king bed would barely fit. The primary reason, though, was that we no longer expected to be sharing our bed with one, two, three, or four extra young people. Last night proved us wrong on that front.
S woke up at 2:30 this morning suddenly unable to breathe. Well, he could breathe a tiny bit, but he felt profoundly obstructed and hustled downstairs for medical assistance from his dad. When someone pounds down a stairway making weird, strained honking noises at 2am, it tends to catch the attention of other sleepers.
S was fine after a moment - cleared his own airway with a good cough. But T and TLB (S's girlfriend. We have bestowed an experimental name adjustment upon her, to avoid confusion with our own T) both showed up concerned while S got his examination from Dad. I invited both girls to have a seat on the bed where the doctor was checking on our patient (I know, they're young women, not girls. But at 2:30 in the morning when they rush into your bedroom worried, they are children for the time being).
J and I didn't worry too much about bed-sharing when the kids were young, in spite of the concerns from some corners of the parenting advice world. They came, they went, we carried them back to bed. There was one time that one of our kids got into too much of a habit of coming in to our room. We took the advice of a wise pediatrician that J worked with during his residency, and slowly weaned her off the parent bed. She slept a night or two next to us on the floor, then in the doorway, then in the hall, and slowly made her way back to her own bed. It worked brilliantly (though not forever).
Generally, it is just a nice reassurance of security and love. Kids get fearful, have a bad dream, worry about their parents turning into monsters, who knows? It's not always a conscious thing. It's kind of nice for the parent sometimes too - to feel the reassurance of their frightened or ill child, warm and calm and breathing quietly by their side.
So we all had a bit of a fright last night. The worry part was short-lived, luckily. But we all hung out and chatted for a while on the bed, in the dark, before heading back to bed. Just to make sure all was well.
It was kind of a nice way to connect with our grown children, but probably better not to get in the habit. I'm a little bit extra sleepy this morning. Plus, we have two more daughters arriving home soon. I'm not sure we have room for everybody.