Friday, February 18, 2011

A Bed, By Any Other Name, Would Still be My Lover

Morning Readers,

     I remember it very clearly. Many moons ago, when I was a lanky, brace-faced nerd of a girl, I had a particular talent for aggravating my mother. Every morning brought, "Get out of that bed, this instant! You are literally sleeping the day away!" This phenomena was particularly bad on a Saturday. I heard the words, but the pillow was so warm, so squishy, so inviting, I thought it very rude to abandon it to icy-cold emptiness. I'm a complete slug when it comes to getting up in the morning, so now that I have children, I find myself contemplating the complexity of sleep, more than ever.

     Over the years, I've continued my love affair with jersey sheets and satin pillow cases. But the dynamic's changed. I'm a firm believer that my sleep indulgence peaked in college. Glorious days, when I could lay in bed for hours, waking only for band at 3 pm. After twelve hours of sleep, I was ready to pull my tangles into a pony tail, grab my flute, and shuffle down the street. Beautiful.
     The first month of married life pretty much followed suit. I was pregnant the month after that, and sleep entered a whole new dimension of odd positioning and strange midnight routines- jars of pickles devoured over Cops re-runs and the like, etc.- which began the new age of sleep in my life. Nothing's been the same since. This is both good and bad.
     I mulled it over, just this morning, as I folded my silky pillow over my head, burrowing my whole face, ever deeper, into its lushness. "Why must I leave you my darling?" Husband was gone at this point, so I was left to converse with my bed-things in solace. "You are so soft. Your thread count makes me happy." And at that, I laid my friend to the side, slipped on my "normal clothes" and scooted into the babies room.
      The love I have for my babies overflows the cup that is my heart. They are my essence, my reason for trudging this planet, the beautiful, little pudgeballs who clap their hands when momma comes in to get them in the morning. It's their clear voices that usually pull me away from my quiet and peace. And although I adore that moment, the moment I'm worshiped for being someone's mom with sweet and innocent admiration, I can't help but re-visit my mother's frustration at my laziness. After years of being called from her few hours of precious sleep, how is it, that the woman didn't BEG us to stay in bed?? To leave her alone.
     What happens when moms age? Does our need for sleep become so trivial, after years of being deprived of it, we feel the need, instead, to hunt our children down and make them join us in the fitful waking hours? Is this a need for companionship while we nurse our insomnia and baggy eyes?
Maybe. But after, what my rough estimation tells me was the 270th morning of being woken before I was ready and willing, I'm tempted to subscribe to the revenge theory. That's right. After hundreds of sleeping hours stolen from us, we are later entitled to torture our children, by never letting them sleep-in either. Or at least, that's what I think, anyway.

Have a great weekend Readers!