January 16, 2004

sleep

I was talking to a friend yesterday who has baby number one on the way. Four more weeks. I remembered what that time was like, and he confirmed what I remembered:

what on earth will we do with a baby?
like right here--it will be right here with us, all the time.
right now I'm getting the cream out of the refrigerator--but pretty soon a baby will be here too. what? how does that work?
what if i screw up. what if i screw up bad?
what if i never sleep again?

Of all the things I worried about, sleep is the only one that's turned out to be the bear I thought it would. Sleep. Restful sleep. Sleeping in. Not being woken up, but waking up.

That goes away, unless you have a night nurse or nanny or something. I didn't. Just a baby, now a child, who doesn't like to go to sleep and doesn't like much to stay asleep, unless, I have now discovered, it's a school day.

Today after I dropped Jenna off at 8:00, I did something I haven't done in years. I came home, went back to sleep, and slept til noon. Now here's the thing. I could have stayed asleep all day. My skin, my brain, my muscles, my breathing--so relaxed, so happy for numbing-nothing-soft-movies-playing-in-my-brain daytime sleep. It was wonderous. It felt like a Bills-game Sunday from my pre-mom, pre-hussle-and-bussle Atlanta life. All that was missing was a tray of nachos in the bed.

Don't get me wrong, I've taken an afternoon nap or two in my day, but I'm a very poor napper. I usually wake up suicidal. I don't know why--it has always been that way. Sleeping in = good feelings. Napping = hurl-self-off-building feelings.

This morning was all good feelings.

Nice. Soft. Pillowlicious sleep. Covers and pillows and comforters. Cotton and flannel. Quiet. Shh. Move in and out of dreams as I wish, twist dreams from sad to sweet, then wake up slowly, a little at a time, think about it, tease myself awake, no jolts, just peaceful waking.

Now I'm ready for anything.

But what I want is to go back to sleep.

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