Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sleeping Through The Night

Becoming a parent means letting go of many things, not least of which is unbroken sleep. We all understand this and most of the time we accept it with good grace. It's part of the deal and most of the time, it happens when we are young and energetic enough to take it in stride. Anand was born when I was 25, Cathleen when I was 28 and Moy Moy came along when I was 31. Sleepless nights for feeding, changing nappies, nursing sicklings and soothing nightmares were part of the fabric of my life as they grew from babies to toddlers and then teens.

I thought often when they were all small of my mother with seven of us and how she said when the youngest was finally sleeping reliably through the night that she had just gotten used to it, that it wasn't until she actually got to sleep as much as she needed that she realized how tired she had been for all those years.

I'm still tired. Moy Moy is 21 now, but we wake up with her every single night. She needs to be changed, she needs to be turned, she may have a seizure and she needs to be held. Her coughing wakes her and then us and we get up to reposition her on the pillows. When she is sick, we set the alarm to wake  to give her her medicines. She sleeps in our bed which makes things easier and more difficult at the same time.

Last night I had the beginnings of a bad cold and an idea occurred to me after Ravi had gone to bed. I could sleep in the guest room.

Guiltily, but before I let myself dwell too much on selfishness, I got out a soft white quilt, pulled my lumpy old pillow out from the middle of our enormous bed (specially designed for three) and crept upstairs. I fell into a sleep so deep it seemed like an inky black well, lined with velvet, and didn't emerge until after eight this morning. I woke confused - where was I? - and rested as I can't remember being in a long, long time.

Not complaining! Just reporting.

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