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Friday, February 7, 2014

Sleep. SLEEEEEEEEP.

You may not know this to look at me, but at one point I was capable of sleeping well into the early afternoon.

O, how I miss those days.  The bed was a warm, comforting place, a place from which I easily dreamt elaborately scripted scenes of world-wide adoration.  Freshly minted coins bearing my likeness dropped from hot air balloons; sumptuous desserts were stacked one upon another, teetering precariously over banquet tables lined with well-wishers; banners were strung from lamp post to lamp post proclaiming the virtues of my excellent posture, my dainty foot, my ability to do the splits in one direction but not the other…

And then, as we say, I woke up.

When did I stop being able to sleep? 

It may be in my blood.

We’re not a family of sleepers.  Both of my parents, for example, give the early-morning impression of having been up for hours.  Look at them, with their pressed pants, their tiny little teefers glinting in the sunlight.  It’s 6:00 a.m. and they’ve hit the ground running.

These people are ready to take on the world.

It’s a heavy responsibility, being their child.

Sleeping in is considered a treat in my neck of the woods.  I came to know this the morning my grandfather leaned over my sleeping form at 5:30 a.m. and said, in a low, Midwestern kind of voice, “Sleepin’ in?  What is it, your birthday?”

Even at five, I could sense an obligation that would stay with me for the rest of my life. 

But now, the sleep I once welcomed and held with chubby, loving arms eludes me, shows up in the early afternoon to tease me, a handsome sandman of temptation whispering in my ear, “Why don’t you just lay down?  Go on, take a nap.”

You can ask my mother, however, about my stance on naps.  Naps, as I once explained to her, are for babies. 

Tired, overworked, sleepy babies.

What are the odds that someone will hand me a bottle (a nice ale, perhaps), take my shoes off, and make me lay down right after lunch?

“You don’t have to sleep,” they’ll say.  “You just have to be quiet for an hour.”

Oh, but I’ll complain:  I don’t wanna take a nap!  I wanna stay up!

And then I will drink my bottle, lay down and close my eyes and dream dreams of greatness.  And cakes.

Greatness and cakes.

33 comments:

fmcgmccllc said...

I blame it on menopause, I went from never a nap to luscious napping.

Shelly said...

I hope to rediscover the loveliness of a nap one of these days. I, too, am of a family of little sleepers. My mom has called me at 5:30 AM on a Sat., saying, "I know you like to sleep in on the weekends, so I waited a while to call you."

Pearl said...

fmcgmccllc, then there is hope for me. :-)

Shelly, LOL! She waited until 5:30. I love it.

Geo. said...

Pearl, that was beautiful. Early risers miss so much!

Geo. said...

Pearl, that was beautiful. Early risers miss so much!

joeh said...

I have never been a morning person. It is tough being a night person in a morning person world. Now that I am retired I turn in when I want, wake up when I want and I nap long and often.

Delores said...

I never had a problem getting up and going in the morning....usually at 4;45am. Now that I'm retired and have this unnatural habit of reading until 3am it seems a lot easier to sleep in. I don't mind a little nap after the noon news either. Well..usually around the middle of the news I fall off the edge and come to with a bang when it's all over. Power nap.
Grab those naps when you can Pearl....and dream of cakes and greatness....those are great dreams.

Jeanie said...

I would gladly become a sleeper if I ever dreamed of greatness and cakes instead of going to class naked.

Buttons said...

Sorry Pearl I had a wonderful comment to type but then I seen the word cake what can I say:) B

jenny_o said...

Many, MANY years in the future, if it comes to pass that you live in a nursing home, you will be allowed - nay, encouraged - to nap every day after lunch. It's like kindergarten all over again. That - and the meals and cleaning up being done by other people - is something I can cheerfully look forward to. Because the rest of it, not so much.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Yup... and another thing, when did i start liking cake?? I got totally distracted by liberal use of the word cake here. Up to a year ago I would never even look at such things. Savoury girl.

Now? And you had to remind me, didnchya, huh, huh..! YAM xx

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Ah, sleep! I remember it well.

Daisy said...

Isn't it funny how we fight sleep so much when we are younger and crave it so much when we are older. It must all balance out somehow. :)

Mr. Charleston said...

Me, I love my naps. The hardest thing I do at work all day is to not take a nap.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Dear Naps;

I'm sorry I hated you and fought with you when I was young; I love you now. Really I do.

Please come back, I'll share the cookies!

Jono said...

I get up early, but there is nothing like the luxury of an afternoon nap. They frown on this at work, however.

vanilla said...

You may be past redemption, but let me try. A postprandial nap, one merely twenty minutes in length, will invigorate you, revitalize you, and make you worth so much more to Acme Napkins and Grommets. Not that they will reimburse you proportionately or anything.

September Violets said...

I'm the opposite and love getting up early, while it's still dark, before the rest of my family. It makes me feel like I have the whole place to myself. Escapism. Wendy x

Sioux said...

Yeah, naps are wasted on the young. There is nothing more delicious than reading in bed (or on the couch) and falling asleep mid-page...on a Saturday or Sunday. Unfortunately, I rarely get to indulge.

Launna said...

Sleep has been a foreign idea to me for a good 10 years but the past 5 months have been excruciating... I have not slept for longer than two hours stretches..

I remember when I used to put my head on the pillow and sleep right through until the morning... sigh... I really miss those nights...

I hope you can get a little move sleep too... oh... I am one that would jump for an afternoon nap if it was offered.. lol

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Here's what I'd like: I'd like to sleep really well for six hours and then get up really early feeling rested. The 24 hour fogginess is for the birds. No, I take that back. Why should birds suffer? Why should birds have to fly a mile to a certain tree and then say, "wait...why did I come to this tree? I don't know" only to remember why half way to their nest.

Steve said...

Sleep when you can. I'm just happy when I wake up alive.

River said...

Naps rule! I take naps every day. whenever I find myself nodding off, I go and lie down. If I'm home that is.

Douglas said...

Since I retired, I no longer take naps. You see, I no longer have a work desk to rest my head on.

ellen abbott said...

I used to wish that I was one of those people who only slept about 5 hours a night, only needed 5 hours of sleep a night. Well, now I have my wish thanks to insomnia and I'm wondering, what the hell was I thinking?

Janice said...

I remember having sleepovers at my friends house when I was little and if you slept in past 10 am you did NOT get breakfast! Geez, sleeping in was an option? In my neck of the woods, sleeping in meant you were lazy!

Linda O'Connell said...

I seem to be sleeping the winter away, or at least trying to.

Steve said...

My wife is a night person, I'm a morning person, but we have few conflicts.

Diane Tolley said...

Heehee! Read this to my Daddy! He was impressed with your grampa. "Good man!" he said.
I, too remember sleep. In a long past, misty, pastel-coloured way. Sigh.

HermanTurnip said...

I used to think the same thing, but the older I get the more I can appreciate nap time. Come noon, after the kid has been put down for his nap, the couch quickly becomes my friend. Throw a blanket over me as the breeze wafts in from the backyard and I'm out like a light.

Pat Tillett said...

My sleep has always been upside down. When I was young I didn't want to sleep, but when I did I slept for a long time. As an adult, I crave sleep, but don't seem to need much and don't sleep that well when I do.
Maybe that didn't make any sense.

TexWisGirl said...

i would LOVE to sleep in, but 4 big dogs don't allow it - much less gobs of whistling ducks and 2 hungry horses waiting to be fed...

Slamdunk said...

Oh how I miss when our kid crew took naps. I was always volunteering to put them down for a sleep--as I embraced a quick nap myself.

I hope you are staying warm there.