TITLE: Crying in the Middle of the Night
By Alison Greenberg
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I was six years old when the twins came home from the hospital. I was glad they were born because Mom was so huge I was afraid her belly would pop! When the babies came home, we put their cribs in my room. It disrupted most of my first grade year.
In the middle of the night, Cathy would start to cry, then Liz. I sleepily went upstairs to get Mom.
"Mom, the twins are awake," I would tell her as I tugged on her nightgown. "Their crying is giving me a headache."
She quickly put on her robe and we went back to my room.
"You get Liz to feed because she's the easy one. I'll take care of Cathy," she instructed as we headed for the kitchen to warm up the milk.
After we finished feeding them, Mom gave me cookies and milk before tucking me in and kissing me goodnight.
I was awfully tired that year in school but my grades did not suffer.
You might think this was a difficult part of my life. On the contrary. In a family with five children, I got to spend quality time with my mother every night, and I knew she loved and needed me even though I was only a little kid.
I didn't know until much later in life how essential those memories would become. Mom suffered several nervous breakdowns, divorced my father, and died all alone during my senior year in college. My siblings remembered her during the times that her bipolar disorder was taking over her beautiful spirit and personality. I am blessed to remember her as the nurturing mother who taught me to be a good parent long before I had children of my own.
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