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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Maybe I'll Just Lay Down for A Bit...

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.

20 comments:

Rose Blackthorn said...

I am a great believer in naps. Naps are awesome.

I also remember the dulcet days of sleeping in past noon...they are but a distant memory, before writing...and a mortgage...

*sigh*

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Mother was an up-at-dawn type. Father not so much. Things being what they were in our house, this meant the kids too were up-at-dawners. Not by choice, you'll gather. The other three managed to get over that.

I try it now and then. Living alone you'd think it'd be a dawdle, wouldnchya? Down when you want. Up when you want. Body has different ideas. Born of five decades of habit. As for siestas? That's for babes and old men. No country for the likes of us Pearl gal. Early bed, early rise, healthy, wealthy, wise and all that.

Have managed the third one in some small measure, perhaps... Might have to put my feet up and ponder the possibilities... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

I only came to know the beauty of an afternoon nap when I was a stay-at-home mom with small children. Since I did all the getting up at night, I figured it was only fair to be able to nap with the babies.

Geo. said...

Although I understand and respect family schedules, I have never understood why the people who invented work made it so early in the morning.

Sioux said...

Naps are delicious things... when you can take them. They're wasted on babies and toddlers. We women of a certain age should not tolerate it anymore. We should demand that all nap-time be allocated to us.

Would you like to sign my petition?

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Sleeping? I remember it vaguely, from such decades as the 80s. Sigh.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Ah naps... the tormenters of the perpetually sleepless...

Delores said...

'Greatness and cakes' my kind of naps.

Watson said...

Sioux, I'll sign! I take a nap right after breakfast! And ready for one now too...just had lunch. but I pack a lot in between!

Elephant's Child said...

My partner is a spring out of bed (slowly) at the crack of noon kind of guy. I am usually up well before the first farting sparrow. How I would love a nap. Several naps. Hold the cakes, hold the greatness. Naps would be more than enough.

vanilla said...

Right; don't forget the cakes.

If it weren't for naps I'd get precious little sleep these days.

Shoshanah Lee Marohn said...

Youth is wasted on the young. I mean the really young. Youth is wasted on the babies.

Juli G said...

I have no idea why I resisted all those naps as a child. I have never been so wrong about anything in my life.

It's so sad that I am actually looking forward to my medical procedure this April, for the sheer fact that I will need anesthesia, and I have two full days to sleep it off later.

Two full, glorious days.

Maybe someone will bring me a cake. :)

Lin said...

Ahhhh, the NAP. I love a nap! And I try to take one every single day...without guilt.

At what point do we no longer have the ability to sleep until noon? I would kill to just sleep until 9!

Rose L said...

I definitely believe that no one should awaken before 9 am! I get up at 9 to be to work at 10 am. I have a friend (Roxie!) who is up at dawn (whenever that is!). I told my contractor working on home repairs at my place that he is not to come before 9 am to do work! I told him to sleep in yet he continues to wake at 5 am!!! Often when my alarm goes off at 9 am he is sitting in his truck in front of my house! I do not mind missing out on sunrises as I think sunsets are better (I am assuming this as have not seen a sunrise).
As for naps, I would love a short one everyday at work!

River said...

You had me drooling at sumptuous desserts.
I love naps. I napped when my babies napped, but they gave them up way too early in my opinion, but the bonus trade-off was they slept all night instead.
I had two naps this morning, in between waking and rising. It's 3pm now and I feel another nap coming on.

Ray Denzel said...

As I have gotten older I have become a professional napper, a nap advocate if you please.

Linda O'Connell said...

And sometimes in midafternoon my head gets so heavy I am afraid it will roll off and find a resting place.

Daisy said...

I like cakes! Your dreams sound much more wonderful than mine. Mine usually make no sense at all. Usually I can sleep, but I do have trouble once in a while.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Sleeping in...for me these days that NEVER happens. But last weekend I slept until 9:30 and it was magical.