The beauty of naps

1002356_10100177203095763_155110387_n

Sunlight streaming through the window, as you’re stretched out on the couch. Blanket draped haphazardly around your knees, barely covering both feet, but the streaming sunlight and heater humming creates the perfect cozy warmth. There’s the dog chewing quirky on a bone on the floor, maybe piercing the silence with a sharp bark or two when the mailman drives by, but mostly it’s peaceful, quiet, afternoon lull. One forearm is draped over our eyes as we drift through dreams and stirrings.

Or there’s the blackout shade drawn tight to block the streaming sunlight. If it’s “five o clock somewhere” then it’s “bedtime somewhere” is a perfectly acceptable phrase for the overly tired. Maybe we’ll change into our jammies or sweats even if it’s only 2pm because we know we’ll wake for dinner, but maybe won’t have the strength to do much else besides nuke some leftovers. If the kiddo is drippy nosed, we’ll possibly snuggle in together for a three hour nap and wake in time to watch some cartoons and go back to bed for the night.

There’s something magical about naps that doesn’t happen in my all-night sleep. I’m rarely aware of the time, and float dreamily in and out of consciousness. The dog may bark, but I’m less inclined to yell about it, and the phone may ring and I may or may not answer. Even when I’m crunched for time, a nap feels delicious, where crunched for time in the evening makes me feel panicky and wasteful of the 6, 7, or 8 hours that my timer says are left before my alarm gets me up for the next day’s activities.

Potamus and I have been taking a lot of naps together lately. There was the barfing incident last week, and then my Friday off, where we hunkered down in the dark bedroom and slept like the dead. I haven’t woken up so refreshed in a long time. But the magic of naps is quickly used up, like the spare change you find in the couch. It’s Monday morning and no matter how many naps I took this weekend it didn’t make me less tired this morning as I drove to work. It’s difficult, the anxiety prodding me awake at all hours of the night. My bladder prodding me awake at all hours of the night. My son’s grabby little hands prodding me awake at all hours of the night. Nap-time restfulness never quite fills me up for long enough.

But those beautiful moments, when we’re sweaty and rosy cheeked after a long slumber. When we yawn and crawl out of bed to more giggles and Hotwheels cars racing down the hallway…those moments are the ones I try to hang on to. When I’m gasping for my morning cup of coffee and it’s not even 8:00 am, I try to remember the luxury I felt this weekend when I got to take the elusive mother-nap.

Parenting and Identity Sweet Spot

5919_10100141985626853_1307297808_n

I’ve had a really good week. My sleep has been adequate (never quite enough, but just enough to stave off the crankies), I got to visit with some friends and my sister this past week, Potamus is mostly over his snotty-nosed cold, and I ¬†fit back into a pair of pre-baby pants. Whoa, doing well all around.

This is what I call a ‘sweet spot.’ Where everything just seems to be going well. Well enough that I fantasize about adding another baby into the mix, or starting up a counseling practice on the side, or doing something else entirely crazy like going on a road trip. I dunno, sometimes I live with anxiety and stress so much that I crave it, and so the sweet spots pass quite quickly because I drum up some sort of drama to keep my monkey mind entertained.

These sweet spots sometime seem so few and far between. Oasis in the midst of desert travelling. Maybe they’d stick around longer if I didn’t pass through them so quickly, trying to get to the next desert. I don’t let myself enjoy the here & now for fear that it is going to leave so quickly. Or I try to hold too tightly to the sweetness and end up squeezing the life out of it ala Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

So today, on my Veteran’s Day holiday, I tried to enjoy the sweet spot. I dropped Potamus off at daycare and drove back home, trying not to feel guilty about my day off. I watched TV and puttered. I took a nap. And when I awoke from my nap, I took another nap. And it was glorious. I feel recharged and ready for my Monday night therapy. I’ll try to just enjoy this moment, because Lord knows it’ll pass quick enough…