My favorite time of night or early morning is that blurry, dark slice of dawn where I exist in a sort of half wakefulness when I squint my eyes just enough to read the clock on the far wall and either realize that I have another hour or two, or that it is the weekend and I dont need to get up to catch the school bus, pack lunch, lay out clothes, or think about anything but the silly things I like to think about in my private hours. This is when I dream a lot and often when I am in the midst of a story or thinking about one, Ill dream about that. Its quite delightful how many good ideas happen in that little pocket between deep sleep and waking up completely.
However this is all moot because I havent had a good nights sleep in years. Lets see, the boy is just six, and we have to count the pregnancy too because sleep is hard to do seriously if youre sick to your stomach or your back is killing you or youre getting up five times a night to use the bathroom, so thats almost 7 years, and just when I was getting back in the swing of it, and remembering how it felt to lie in bed without a little kid crawling in with me in the middle of the night or waking me with bad dreams about tickle monkeys- this is what he has nightmares of by the way. Tickle monkeys. They dont sound terrifying do they? but according to him they are the worst thing there is- anyway just as I was lapsing back into eons of glorious somnolence, that lazy hazy feeling of just lying in bed with nothing particular to do, along came the Lucy Factor and once again I was back on 24-hour day & night-watch and no more drowsy, snuggly, warm cocoon where the thoughts flow and wreathe themselves into pleasing shapes and imprint in soft, rosy colors on the inside of my eyelids and I am dreaming and conscious at the same time.
Not that cuddling with Lucy is unpleasant. It is lovely, but its a tethered act. I cant let my mind soar off into the myriad of fantastic thoughts it wants to have because then shed fall off the bed. And land on her head which must be stuffed with an immense brain which far outweighs her bottom because she always lands on her head.
Besides which she is always teething. Always. I dont know how many more teeth she can possible get unless she is part great white and she is working on the second row. About six molars just came in, all at once in a cluster, and now her canines are arriving, and they are as pointed, as needle sharp as a puppys (or a vampire bats). They are wicked little weapons, and as soon as the tooth thing started to relax its grip on our nights, she got a little head cold and she cant breathe so we sleep half sitting up in bed. At least she sleeps and I sort of doze, thinking all the while about how tired I am and how much I would like to welcome sleep if it didnt seem like such an alien state to me now.
Am I one of those people- ambitious, over-achieving, driven, type A personality types?- well yeah, I am, but not the kind who only sleeps a couple of hours a night. I like eight, nine and preferably ten good, solid hours. And if I dont get them? Then I struggle to remember terms like over-achieving. I had to break in the middle of writing this and go and do the dishes while I concentrated, and I almost called my husband and said, “Honey, whats that word that describes me? You know, having to get it all done?” and he might well have used a word or phrase that I would never post here because hes a relaxed mellow kind of a guy and thinks I fuss too much, and he can be quite obscene. But I did eventually remember. So besides a dullness of brain, a marrow and flesh-deep sluggishness, I also get quite crabby which isnt good for anyone. Whos the jerk who said that once youve lost sleep you can never get it back? Like those vanished hours have just snipped a few lengths from your lifes thread? I hate that guy. I dream of the day when my kids can get their own breakfast, and the early morning belongs to me again, and I can just surface and submerge over and over again, catching tantalizing glimpses of exciting new thoughts, and rise refreshed and inspired. I am going to get my sleep back. Oh yeah!