Three of those times, he wanted a little story for comfort.
Finally, he sank into a good sleep and I did too.
I also hoped the other members of our family wouldn't wake us up while getting themselves out the door in the morning.
I woke up on my own as they bustled about, but no one needed me and so I drifted back into a light slumber, grateful both that the ill child was sleeping peacefully & also for the opportunity to catch up on sleep after the rough night.
Suddenly, I hear the siren wailing.
I listen for a minute to see whether it will undulate (the sign that it's a real warning and not a drill).
Groggily, I check my bedside clock.
9:33 AM. The drills generally occur at 10:05.
Uh-oh. It's real.
Bleary-eyed I rush to the safe room to open the heavy door (which is difficult if my arms are filled with a large sleeping child), and then I hurry to lug my sleeping child (who is pretty big for his age) into my arms while murmuring to him reassuringly, and then hurry to the now-open door, with the intention of laying him down on his big brother's bed while I close the window and the door.
Except that his big brother's bed is full of stuff (like a motorcycle helmet and other hard things), so I can't just lay the child down on top of it, like I could if it was just clothes.
So I'm trying to close the shutters, and then the big unwieldy iron window protector with one hand and a heavy child sagging in my other arm.
(The whole time, I'm hoping that the allotted amount of seconds haven't gone by.)
It's not going so well, but at least the child is finding it all amusing.
(He also enjoys being in his big brother's room, which is usually off-limits to him.)
Now that he's fully awake, I shove aside some stuff on the bed and prop him against pillows so he won't be leaning against a cold wall, toss the thick knife lying on the bedside table to the other end of the bed where my 4.5-year-old won't get it, then go back to close the door and then close the window properly.
I'd forgotten that this makes the room pitch-black.
My child protests and I talk to him in that happy-mommy voice we use when we want our child to think something is fun (especially when it's not).
I fumble for the light switch and turn on the light.
Then I think it's probably safer to be seated, so I move stuff over to make a place on the bed and hold my son in my arms. He's happy for the cuddle and very amused by the whole situation.
It occurs to me that I should be davening, especially since I suffer from the same mentality as the rest of the country ("Miracles are the expected norm!") and assume that the missile will fall somewhere else, probably at a safe distance from any residence.
This is not the correct way of seeing things, so I force myself to overcome my ho-hum attitude and daven until enough time has passed to go out.
The little boy is feeling pretty chipper by now and is able to walk back to his bed by himself.
As we leave the room, I hear the shower running.
Was my oldest son home this entire time?
(So THAT'S why his bed was so messy! He's usually pretty neat.)
How did I not hear the shower when I hurried right past it on the way to the safe room?
That's what happens when you're so focused on other tasks, I guess.
When he comes out, I tell him what happened (emphasizing that I don't love him any less than his baby brother, but just that I honestly did not notice he was at home) and he's extremely amused that he showered blissfully through the whole thing.
What Incoming Missiles Teach Us about Day-to-Day Emunah
It's easy to get upset when, after a rough night with a sick child, another family member wakes you up.
And then it's very normal to blame them for depriving you of even more sleep on top of your current sleep deprivation.
But understanding that Hashem is running things helps us understand that we don't need to get so upset.
In the above situation, no one disturbed my sleep that morning. No one decided they needed me.
Great! Thank you!
But then a siren went off, calling for an immediate response for self-preservation.
So this is very good mussar because this kind of thing gives me chizuk to avoid blaming people when things don't go as I'd like.
Because if it's not your family depriving you of sleep, it could be Hamas.
It's all up to Hashem.
And so there's really no rational reason to get angry.
It's better ask Hashem for our needs rather than getting upset with others.
And that's what I've been working on.