Friday, August 15, 2008

when night...

When night swoops down on this house we are not ready. It's never unexpected, nor is it unwelcome... we just aren't ready.

In my home we each have our own way of delaying night's embrace. Our own ways of saying No, I won't. No, I can't. Really, I couldn't possibly.

The method doesn't really matter though, what matters is that this is when we all do our best thinking. When the day has been long and hard and we haven't enough energy left to hold back the flood of thoughts and dreams we just wander aimlessly, be it in mind or body.

It's easiest for me. My schedule is often flexible, changing, based on the lives of those around me. For my husband who must rise early each day to make the long commute to work and my daughter who is only 6 and needs sleep to thrive and grow, these late nights seem to be a problem.

I see heavy eyes and sluggish feet each day and every night I tell them both that they need to go to bed early...

So I tuck K into her bed, read her a story and kiss her goodnight, but try as I may I can not make her go to sleep. She lingers in the waking world clinging to one last thought as long as she can. Sometimes moments longer than I'd like, sometimes hours.

When she's finally fallen asleep I tell my husband that it's time for him to go to bed, and even as I say it each night I know what his response will be. Always and again he will tell me yes, he needs rest, he will sleep soon... though without fail his tired eyes are still awake and 11, 12, sometimes 1 or even 2.

Then there's me. I would sleep so much more than I do... but I'm troubled by wakeful, thoughtful wanderings, theirs and my own. I feel the need to help, to guide, to remind... to make my family understand that sleep is a beautiful thing when night comes.

Something they shouldn't run from. Shouldn't resist. Something they should revel in and enjoy... even as I stand wide awake telling them so.

9 comments:

Gary Walter said...

Cami, you have a unique ability to express emotion - especially the once undefined and unspoken emotion.

I came home three hours ago, exhausted. But the 30 minute drive home on Hwy 30 allows me to process the day - and then, after gazing at my sleeping family, I sit down to process more on my blog.

Today I had more to process than usual due to some insightful conversation with @drnormal. Then some post meeting conversation with friends struggling with the same work-life balance issues.

Now it is 2:15am - and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow - partly because I'm going to try and squeeze a hundred things in before an afternoon of free kayaking lessons in a cool river - on a hot day.

Yes, night is not unexpected, but why must we process everything now?

Lilacspecs said...

This is a lovely post. I personally used to be a night owl but it turned into insomnia. So the night time makes me sort of nervous now.

Bubblewench said...

I often wonder how your family does it. You guys seem to sleep all the time yet never sleep at all.

Neato post.

sybil law said...

Isn't that what naps are for?! :)
Really -you know I know what you mean. My brain won't shut off without the help of pharmaceuticals in some form.

Jo Beaufoix said...

K is so like Miss E. She goes to bed but sleep, sleep has to wait. mr B though, goes to bed and sleeps like a baby, while I'm up pondering about mad stuff and wishing my brain would shut down. Part of me loes these stolen hours...till I have to get u.

Mommy Jo said...

I think our family should live somewhere in Spain. We love our siestas!

holly said...

okay. i get your message. i will go to bed. i should not be up at this hour.

expensivemistakescheapthrills said...

i love your new header.

i hardly ever have late nights. late is 9pm. bed time is usually at 8. i'm shattered when that time rolls around...

last night was a very late night. only got home at 2am.

so needless to say, i am shattered today and will be going to bed very very early.

as soon as I've tucked The Kid into bed. which will be about 6:30pm...

angel said...

i love the night. i think. i talk to my glugs. i write. i scribble.
i love the night.