I was woken up late last night by the sound of our bedroom door slowly being pushed open. The long agonizing continuous sound of an ungreased hinge echoing through the room. It was like an unsheathing sword of infinite length grumbling a guttural whine as it was pulled free and readied for war. I held my eyes closed and waited for the noise to end, but it continued and continued digging into my ribs, burning into the side of my head, shattering awake my sleeping mind even as I squeezed my eyes shut in protest, and covered my head in my bed sheets. Finally I rolled over to look at the door. Which of my zombie half awake children were torturing me at this ungodly hour?
The door was closed. The sliver of light from the socket in the hall shone clearly through a small crack in the door. Still the noise filled the room, halting for a moment then beginning again. The same broken rumbling note.
I turned to my side and focused on the sound. Reaching for it in the darkness I found Gideon laying on his back, his chest rumbling up and down with the noise. Every breath released in a slow strictly rationed exhale. He filled his lungs and continued. Cooing himself to sleep like a baby velociraptor.
I gently rolled him over onto his side and the noise stopped. With a sigh of relief I settled back into my pillow. There was a brief moment of peace. Then just as I was beginning to find sleep again he began babbling. “Rara” he said. Then a few seconds later some grumbling sounds and then “Rara…Rara…” repeating, in his sleep, in his 11 month old dreams, his big sister’s name.