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Spirits of the Night

By Patricia Briggs

My first daughter, Leila preferred to stay up late and sleep in the morning. Even though, I would put her to bed at a reasonable time, she would not go to sleep until late. By late, I mean she would not let her eyes shut until around midnight. I easily fell into shifting my sleeping hours to match hers because it was convenient and ensured I got enough sleep. However, after her younger sister, Katey came along, this became more difficult because Katey preferred to go to bed early and get up with the roosters. Now their mismatched sleeping hours made things intolerable; I was barely getting any sleep.

I tried different approaches to get Leila to go to sleep sooner, but nothing seemed to budge her. She was so consistent and insistent that I began to wonder if this was her natural circadian rhythm, unique only to her. I turned to Katey next. I finally had to accept that I was unable to shift either one of them out of their chosen sleep pattern. I was the one who was caught in the middle without quality sleep…. until Leila was about eight years old. Around this time, she finally explained to me why she refused to shut her eyes until she absolutely had to.

As soon as the house settled down from the busyness of the day as Leila was lying quietly in her room, her bedroom would fill with spirits. Her room was not large enough to hold the number of spirits that came. Those that could not fit into her room would wait outside for their turn.

The spirits were there for help, guidance, or just to be present in her light. However, as a child she did not understand any of this. The spirits were real and tangible to her. She did not understand that there was a difference between spiritual and physical, let alone discern the differences within each. From her perspective, her room was full of people all talking over each other trying to grab her attention. She could not fall to sleep. They came every night and overwhelmed her with their needs.

After she finally shared, I suggested that she tell them that she physically needed to sleep, so they had to stay outside her bedroom. She did this and I didn’t think any more about it because she never said anything more. I never thought to ask because the accepted adage from pediatricians around this time was that you answered any questions your child asked truthfully, but only to the depth that satisfied them. And you would know that their curiosity was satisfied when they quit asking the questions. This was to prevent you from giving them too much information too soon and overwhelming them. When they were ready, they would ask more questions. I didn’t want to overwhelm her further with my curiosity and questions, so, I was silent.

Then as with most children, things shift, and new problems arise overshadowing the previous ones. As a parent, you just try to flow with the changes as the child grows. Leila stopped getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Her father was already in the habit of getting up early for work, so, he started getting her out of bed for a trip to the bathroom every morning before he left. This prevented accidents in bed but still left us confused on the reason this was happening now.

Years later, she shared that after she told the spirits to stay out of her room, not only did they fill up the yard, but the ones at the front of the line lined up at her bedroom door and line wound through the house, past the bathroom. To go to the bathroom, she would have to walk by this line of spirits, and it was more intimidating then when they had been in her room. It was okay when her dad walked her through it. They didn’t intimidate him.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It allows you a new perspective. Our perspectives were so different in the same space at the same time. My lack of questions caused this disparity. I should have asked her questions and developed a vocabulary between us regarding the spiritual. I should have bridged this gap and found us common ground to communicate. I was very open to these types of conversations, but by not asking my own questions, I was not encouraging them.

Energy may be subtle, but it is direct in its approach. I can learn from that. Highly intuitive children with respect to their abilities and the intangible, thrive on the direct approach.

Instead of just answering her questions, Leila has shared in hindsight, sometimes she just wanted validation but didn’t know how to ask for it. Of course, why would she? She was a child, and I wasn’t encouraging the conversation that would have given her the validation she needed.

I just want to finish by saying, I know that I did the best I could at the time. But I also know now, there is a better way. Have a very blessed day!

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