February 15, 2008
My relationship with sleep has been a good one, for the most part. Or at least that's how I think of it. But upon further reflection I think that I have been something of a jerk in the relationship.
I enjoy sleeping, and periodically bemoan the fact that I wasn't fortunate enough to be born into a culture more supportive of napping. When I used to do a lot of babysitting, I was constantly pleading with the sleep-resisting five year olds: "Trust me, you think you don't want to take a nap, but in twenty years or so you're going to really want one and not be able to get it, so just take it today, will you?" It didn't work, but it made me feel better.
Now that I'm a parent, and especially because we're into the thick of college application review season in my household, sleep has taken a bit of a hit. The lovely T often doesn't get home until what used to be our bedtime, and then of course there's all that catching up to do.
Poor sleep, taken for granted and always getting pushed further down on the list of priorities. I have made my peace with the crazier hours, and it was the early days of parenting that made it possible... once you let go of the idea that sleep should happen at a particular time during the day, it's less frustrating to find yourself still awake at 12:23am.
But I do pay a price. I can feel that my mind is not as sharp, that my balance is a little off, and that my temper runs shorter when I'm tired. I get a second wind, and I count on it, but I remember another trick from early parenting... the way to tell how tired you are is to remember how you felt when you first woke up that morning. Before coffee. Before your second wind. Like most people, I need more sleep than I get, but it seems that I am an unrepentant jerk... I've got another late night planned tonight. And no nap in sight.