We have been in our new house for about a month now. Here is the view from my living room window. It speaks for itself.
In the past month, as if unpacking and getting oriented while trying to carry on with normal life was not enough, we have also spent three non-stop weeks hosting family from both George’s side and mine. It has been a lot of fun to have them here, sharing our new surroundings with them, and it has made our new home really feel like home in a big hurry. Not to mention that they provided invaluable help with some of the unpacking and assembling, and brought playmates (well-loved cousins) for our children. So it has been great to have them here, and we look forward to having them back again soon.
But I do have to admit, it has also left us a bit worn from all the action and late nights and simple logistics of managing such a full house. And so last night, after another full day (even without guests) I went to bed feeling bone-tired and with a pretty sharp headache radiating from behind my right eyeball. We have had a lot going on; I just needed some sleep.
And I did sleep, deeply, until about 5:15 a.m., when suddenly my son was standing beside my bed saying, “Mommy, I had a bad dream.”
So I pulled back the blankets and shifted over, and he crawled in beside me. He put his head on my pillow, snuggled his little butt up against my belly, and pulled my arm over top of him so he could hug it against his chest. And then my early-bird son, who never falls back to sleep in the morning, amazingly, went back to sleep.
Out the window, I could see that early morning brightness that suggests a beautiful day is coming. In the mountains, if you have ever been there, you will know that on the best days, the air can be so fresh and crisp that it makes everything you look at seem fresh and crisp too, and more distinct around the edges, so that you almost feel like you are seeing things more clearly and in focus than you ever have before. I couldn’t see much besides sky out the window, but there was a quality about that sky that made me suspect it was going to be one of those splendid kind of days.
The thing was, though, it was 5:15 a.m. And I really would have preferred to defer morning just a little bit longer.
By 5:45, however, I realized that sleep wasn’t happening. At least, not for me. On both sides of me, snoring and heavy breathing confirmed that others were enjoying the slumber I craved. But, for me, sandwiched in the middle, it was just not working.
So, as carefully as I could, I crawled out the top of the blankets and slid off the bed. I headed for my son’s bedroom, hoping that in a different, less cramped and snore-filled location, I might have more luck.
Less than a minute later, my son was standing at the door. He said, “Why did you leave?” I don’t think he was much interested in my explanation. He said, “I thought you left because I was there.”
So I pulled back the blankets and shifted over, and he crawled in beside me. He put his head on the pillow, snuggled his little butt up against my belly, and pulled my arm over top of him so he could hug it against his chest. And then my son, who never falls back to sleep in the morning, went back to sleep for a SECOND time.
The sky got brighter and more beautiful.
By 6:45, I knew the change of venue was not going to help me sleep. And I was getting really antsy, trying to lay still and not wake up my son. So, as carefully as I could, I slipped out of the bed and went one door down the hall to my office. I figured, if I can’t sleep, I might as well get something done.
At 7:30, my son came in and sat down on the floor, still groggy and almost in tears. He said, “Every time I fall asleep with you, you sneak away.”
So guess what? We went back to his bed. We both put our heads on the pillow. He snuggled his little butt up against my belly, and pulled my arm over top of him so he could hug it against his chest. And then my son, who never falls back to sleep in the morning, went back to sleep FOR A THIRD TIME.
I didn’t dare get up again, so I lay beside him and waited for him to wake up, which he did about half an hour later. And the first thing he said was, “I want to spend as much time as I can with you because I’m gonna miss you so much when I go to soccer camp today.”
The sun was fully up and shining by now. It was indeed a crisp and spectacular day.
Sleep is a precious gift. Though it would be nice to have more of it, some days it just isn’t in the cards. I wish I could say I handle those days with grace, but the truth is, I don’t always. My son’s words reminded me this morning of how much my simple presence, by itself, means to him, which tells me I must be doing something right. Really, the loss of a couple hours’ sleep is a trifle in comparison. I can always sleep tomorrow night.