It’s never going to happen for me again, is it. I know it. Ah, but SLEEP! How I love you! You, bringer of Unconsciousness and Incredibly Messed Up Hair! Of Fully Relaxed Muscles and Ponderous Dreams! I crave you, I need you, I want you, yet I am denied you always.

How I Am Denied, Specifically:

  • Light coming through the curtains
  • Light coming from the red light on the cable box
  • Light from the alarm clock numbers
  • Actually, any light other than pitch darkness
  • Child knocking at my bedroom door, mentioning something about an elaborate dream with a bird in it and needing to go potty and asking for a band-aid
  • Child running up and down the hall wearing what sounds to be heavy turn-of-the-century lead boots
  • Children fighting about video game remotes, television choices, cereal, whether the earth is flat, etc.
  • Child returning to my door to say it is 5AM, time to get up
  • Child shoving a drawing of a jaunty cactus wearing a sombrero under my door
  • The mumble of the television on at any volume, which my brain insists on trying to make sense of
  • The dog staring at the door to go out
  • Those fucking birds who have the nerve to start singing before it is light out
  • The garbage truck coming backwards down the alley BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
  • The crows cawing, upset by the garbage truck taking away their spoils
  • The relentless tossing and turning, coughing and snoring of anyone in my bed, including me
  • Caffeinated beverages and copious amount of water, which insist on leaving my body at night, which means I have to get up to put such processed fluid in the correct place
  • Wind
  • Thoughts
  • Too cold
  • Too hot
  • Messed up blankets
  • Annoying hair extensions
  • Rain
  • Extra thoughts + worries
  • Anything that smells even remotely like smoke or gas
  • The furnace coming on
  • Body clock
  • You get my point.

I can remember, the absolute lusciousness of the Perfect Sleep. To be able to go to bed when you wished, get up when you wished, few responsibilities or worries, light and sound distractions minimal. That sinking fabulous feeling, of giving in utterly to the floating ramble of the mind trying to quiet itself as the body relaxes into the smooth sheets and pluffy pillows. Nothing to drag you away from restorative, indulgent sleep.

I blame reproduction. Sleep started to become a compromised commodity then, when I became pregnant. Early on, I would stir a bit, go UH OH, and throw up. Nothing like a good blasting vomit to wake a girl up. Later on, the pressure on my bladder from a growing, kicking alien infant became almost humorous. You think you could not possibly have any pee to pee every 30 minutes ‘round the clock, but you do! Hurray! Sleeping on my back became impossible as it would actually either cause a river of stomach acid to shoot up my throat, or compress my lungs so badly that it felt like Ed McMahon had taken up residence on my chest. Get off, Ed. In the last stages, combine all that with stinging backache, and existential worry about this new child about ready to tear through my body to join the world, and we are set up for not a lot of that sweet, sweet deep sleep.

It was all over, forever, once said alien came to live outside of me. I became The Mom, and we all know that Mothers survive on coffee, 5 minute showers, catnaps while driving, and grim determination. Moms never get sick, eat last, and are poised at any second, even while sleeping, to spring into Mom Action. That was it. My every sense became attuned to the slightest sound, movement. Is that the baby? Is he OK? Maybe I should check. Yes. Oh, and feed him yes, there is that. OK. OK. It’s already morning? Oh. How did that happen? I never slept! How amusing!

Of course, Baby #1 grew, and was supplemented by Babies #2 and #3, who also grew. But the attenuation was permanent. My body became used to getting up at any time for any reason, to wake up at 6AM even on vacation, yet not be able to sleep until late because I am a night owl kind of rock and roll sort of girl.

So here I am. There are many studies on the grievous effects of lack of sleep. They are all true. By the time the kids are gone, I will be Old, and have Old Person Sleep Issues on top of the rest. I know this, and I understand. But that does not stop me from wanting to feel the beautiful silky Perfect Sleep just once more. I feel like sometime, maybe I will be in a quiet place, perhaps off of a secluded ocean beach, with a sweet warm tropical breeze wafting in over my outrageously opulent and overstuffed bed. The mosquitoes will be elsewhere, feeding off drunk college boys in town. There will be no agenda to manage, no schedule to keep, no people to corral, no burning tasks to keep me from being able to smoosh down, and smile, and be freed for a few hours. Just. One. More. Time. Ahhhhhh.