Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night

There's never a bad time for a Frank Sinatra song. At least, that's what my grandma always thought. Unless, of course, it is descriptive of one's state of being. Which is, for me, awake.

Frank couldn't sleep a wink last night and neither could I. We both
look a little bit tired.

Frank was singing about a fight with his beloved that had rendered him wakeful, waiting through the night until it was a decent hour for making a phone call. That wasn't my problem; my beloved was sound asleep in bed beside me and as I turned over and grumpily put my feet outside the covers, he woke up for a split second and said, "Are you getting up again?" Then he took both of my pillows and snuggled happily down, claiming my space as well as his.

I've been up for the past four nights, reading, cleaning, looking out the windows at the dark city streets and puttering around on the computer. Sometimes it's really irritating not to be able to sleep, but most of the time, I don't mind too much. It's about the only way I can claim a few moments of peace.

Last night, I was in the mood for a little company, so I turned the television in the living room on to EWTN and half-watched a program about the Divine Mercy while I answered emails. I can't watch 24-hour news stations in the middle of the night, for fear that bad news from around the globe will keep me awake forever. I also don't watch HGTV or TLC during times of the day when Lowe's isn't open. That's just frustrating, and when I'm awake, my goal is to soothe myself enough so that I can go back to sleep, not work myself up about not being able to go right out and buy that recommended UV protectant marine varnish for my antique front door.

So I sat and dealt with my email, which might not seem like a very restful thing to do, but it was the email that was keeping me awake in the first place. It's been a busy week for me and my two daughters, Meelyn, 14, and Aisling (pronounced "Ashleen"), 11. As homeschoolers we are in a state of perpetual motion, but this week has been busier than ever. I serve our Indianapolis area homeschool group as the activities coordinator and it seems like I always have fourteen or fifteen emails, none of which can be answered with a simple yes or no, waiting in my inbox. I plowed through all of them, setting aside one particularly thorny one to answer later. I felt happy and peaceful, glowing with a sense of accomplishment.

I heard my husband's feet hit the floor overhead and a moment later he came down the stairs to walk the dogs, addressing me with our standard morning greeting.

"How long have you been up?" he asked through a yawn.

"Oh, since around 4:30. It hasn't been too bad. I was just getting ready to come back upstairs."

"Do you want me to send the dogs up when we get back?"

"Only if their feet aren't wet," I replied. "It's been raining."

My husband went to leash the dogs and I went upstairs to my room, climbing into the bed and burrowing into a warm hollow, drowsy and content. As I lay there dozing, my husband said, "Go find Mommy!" from the foot of the stairs and I heard the dogs thundering up to my room, thumping onto the bed, their paws wet on the pale yellow matelassé coverlet, their noses wet on my cheeks. "Hi. Yes. Good morning. I love you, too," I murmur. "Now settle."

The dogs both flop down, sighing heavily, slipping into sleep as easily as a carnival-won goldfish slips from a plastic bag into a bowl of water. As if they haven't been doing that very thing for the past nine or ten hours. Lucky, I think, and then I drift away too, unaware of my husband coming in from his shower, dressing for work, leaving. Although I do retain some slight memory of his kiss on my cheek.

I wake up two hours later in a pool of feeble sunlight, both dogs stretched out to full length. I feel revived, glad that I was able to go back to bed this morning. Some days I can't.

I wonder how many emails I'll get today, and head off for the shower.


Susan said...

I'm so glad you're writing. I love it and you and your view of your world!

I of course have all kinds of health advice that I'd love to give you to help you sleep, but then we'd miss the fab articles!

Love, your cuz, Susie

Lilly said...

Great simile about the goldfish slipping into the water like the dogs slipping into the bed.

Claudia said...

came here by mistake. love it!

Peter Kesel said...

Really,it is a great and interesting blog.