The following post is going to be one of those annoying, bragging, “my life is so awesome” posts. Sorry about that.
No, I’m not.
You see, over the years, I have had many sleepless nights related to motherhood. Many. And the next day I always felt like crap, with a headache and swollen eyelids and a bad mood.
My sleepless nights started all the way back with the backaches, heartburn and leg cramps of pregnancy, and ran right through the 24 hour labors and into the 3 am feedings. I have stayed up all night with croup, asthma, pneumonia, broken bones, vomiting and hives. Many, many nights, and none of them were fun.
In the later years of my Mommydom, I often found myself awake and shivering with fear when the kids stayed out past curfew, or when I knew that they were driving on snowy roads. I have tossed and turned and visualized every possible disaster after dropping them off at sleepovers. Or college.
When they moved out of our house, I stopped sleeping because I needed time to mourn and grieve in private. I walked the dark and empty hallways, checking into silent rooms, sniffing for one last lingering scent of my departed children. I sat on the deck, alone, hearing the sounds of little voices in my head.
And last October I had my all night panic attack, when all three were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the internet showed me photos and videos of my babies in zipties, surrounded by uniformed and scowling police. THAT was a horrible sleepless night.
So bear with me for a moment while I indulge in a hazy, groggy morning once again. This was a different insomnia. I liked it.
Last night Paul and I drove out to Western Massachusetts and picked up both boys. Our younger son spent the summer living with his brother and several other young people out there. They live in a ramshackle old house (to put it kindly) complete with tiny rooms, a galley kitchen which was last updated somewhere around 1970, and warped and buckling wooden floors, painted a dark and peeling forest green. They love it.
So we came to get them, and the four of us went into the college town nearby. We had tickets for a concert at a local restaurant/bar/music club. We saw a band that I love (the Duhks: if you don’t know them, you have to check them out.) The boys had found out about the concert a couple of months ago, and had suggested that we all go.
The bar was packed, and steamy and incredibly fun. We sat there with our two handsome sons, eating burgers and drinking cold foamy beers. We talked about life, about school, about politics, about food and music. We watched them flirt with the beautiful young waitress and chat with the musicians.
We danced a little, sang a little, clapped and stomped a lot. They are so full of life. They are deliriously happy with who they are, where they are, where they are going. They don’t have two nickels to rub together, but that’s OK. They understand and believe in hard work, and they aren’t afraid to do it. They value generosity, kindness and love more than money. They want to make the world into the place they believe it can be.
They love each other. They are each other’s best friends. They love us, too. Some of the things that they said last night really resonated for me, and danced around in my head all night long. Keeping me happily awake.
They said, “I’m proud of the person that I am right now.” and “The word ‘brother’ has a whole new meaning for me after this summer.” and “We’re so excited to be showing you our town.” and “Thanks for this great night, Mom! We love you guys.”
See why I’m bragging and feeling all warm and fuzzy and good?
All those the years of sleepless nights paid off in a happy night under the bright blue moon, thinking about my children.
Check out The Duhks on Youtube. You’re feet will be tappin!