Life is such a funny old thing, isn’t it?
I remember way back when I was in my twenties. There were definitely times when I stayed up more than half the night and then slept through half the day. That’s just what we did back then, you know? Friends would be getting together to see a band in Boston at 11 pm, so we’d head out at 10:30 and get back home at dawn.
I remember those days. I do! Lots of Scotch, lots of dancing, maybe a stop at an all night diner for waffles before the sun came up.
Then we grew up. Got jobs. Got married.
We gave up the all nighters in favor of early to bed and early to rise. We became responsible.
When Paul and I had our babies, the day/night thing got sort of all mixed up again for a bit. I remember those middle of the night nursing times, watching really really bad TV (this was before the 500 cable channels) and trying to stay awake long enough to change a diaper. I remember stumbling through my shower and getting through a full work day when my brain really wanted to be completely unconscious.
Once I was co-leading a social language group with our school counselor. I had been awake every two hours all night to administer a nebulizer treatment to my son. We were all sitting on the floor of her office in a circle. I had a cup of coffee on the rug in front of me.
I woke myself with a loud snore. Ten learning disabled kids were staring at me. The counselor calmly stated, “Karen had a bad night’s sleep.”
Then my kids grew out of those difficult nights, and life settled into a pretty normal cycle. We are awake and productive by day, we sleep by night. I understood this concept. It fit quite well into my daily life as a teacher. All was well.
But now I am retired. I have no pressing need to be articulate, alert or entertaining during daylight hours.
Now I spend my days as Nonni, and life has settled back into that old familiar upside down pattern.
Now I wake up early, shower and have my coffee. I am alert, happy, awake and ready to go. My sweet Ellie comes to spend her day with me, and we have a wonderful two hours of cuddles and books and toys. Then there is a bottle. Then there is a blanket, and a yawn, and that warm sweet bundle of baby relaxation settled herself on my chest. The recliner goes back, my cheek rests on her head, and the snore fest begins. I sleep the deepest and calmest sleep of my life while my hands cradle that round little diaper wrapped bottom.
And after a couple of hours we wake up, and there are diaper changes and snacks and books and some toys. There is tummy time and sitting time and music and another bottle.
And the cycle repeats itself.
I pretty much sleep my way through half of my daylight hours. With that beautiful child held tight in my arms, I am so happy and at peace that my dreams are filled with rainbows and ponies and fairies and glittering stars.
Its the BEST.
But all that daytime sleep means, of course, that I am usually awake in the darkest deepest part of the night. I get up, I make tea, I read a bit, I stroke the dogs.
And I don’t mind at all.
My life is turned upside down once again, putting me back in touch with my youthful, carefree self. Reminding me of my young mommy self. I can watch the moon set. I can sit alone on my couch and think about life.
I know that tomorrow Ellie will come. And we’ll play and laugh and eat, and then we’ll cuddle up and sleep our peaceful sleep together.
Life is such a funny old circular rhythm, isn’t it?