Thanksgiving for my family isn’t just about the turkey with all the trimmings, it’s about who’s sleeping where. When you are one of six adult children (with assorted significant others and offspring) traveling over the river and through the woods to descend upon one, small Cape Cod home, sleeping arrangements rank high on the list of concerns.
This year, the adults got the upstairs bedrooms. Our 21-month-old would stay with me and my husband; William would sleep with his brother and cousins somewhere else. But where? The basement is an automatic no-go. After 40 years, six kids and a couple of dogs and cats, my parents’ basement is now the proper resting place for countless treasures and more than a little dust. William’s asthma would definitely be a problem down there. The winterized porch just off the living room seemed the perfect spot. A clean tile floor with a rug meant few allergens; I figured asthma shouldn’t be a problem there.
Bedtime went swimmingly. Well, as swimmingly as it does for five cousins giggling, whispering, and maybe, trying to get a little bit of sleep. In other words, the perfect slumber party. Once everyone was tucked in tight, I snuck upstairs where my husband, 21-month-old, and I had been lucky enough to score one of the bedrooms. After 12 hours of driving, I was ready for some serious sleep.
An hour later, my brother woke me, saying William had been coughing and it sounded like he was wheezing in his sleep. I pulled on a sweater and went downstairs to check. He was sound asleep, happily wheezing away. The porch, it turned out, was not the world’s most perfect sleeping spot – for Will, anyway. I scooped up a sleeping, wheezing William (8-year-old boys are surprisingly heavy in their sleep!) and carried him to the couch in the living room. Tucked him in, dragged his mattress to the floor next to him, and snuggled in for long winter’s nap. His breathing improved quickly.
I’m not sure exactly what triggered the wheezing, but for the rest of our visit he slept peacefully on the couch. He stayed up a bit later than usual, screenings of White Christmas and Notre Dame football kept him up later, but I think he loved it. Next time, we may need to lobby for an extra bedroom.