The girls and I have been battling a bug for over a week now. Nothing serious, no fevers, no major meltdowns. Just lots of gunk and coughing. Oh, and I sound like I’ve taken up a new job that involves a phone, heavy breathing and shameless euphemisms. I can deal with wiping noses and even the vocal changes fine, it’s the dang tickle in my throat keeping me up all night that I despise. Usually, I am good to go with a little codeine cough syrup, but not the last two nights. What gives? I have resorted to doing it the old fashioned way with some warm water and honey. It finally did the trick for me last night, so here’s hoping it works in about 15 tonight. I hate missing sleep.
Sleeping is kind of like eating in many ways- you can’t live without it and often it’s quite enjoyable. I for one also take it completely for granted. Before I had kids, I thought that I was entitled to a full night’s sleep, if not during the work week at least one fabulously lazy morning to sleep in on the weekends. Then we had BQ and that was gone in about 60 seconds. She was one who required extensive sleep training, scheduling and work. Once we all figured it out, sleep returned. Then we had Molé who by all baby definitions was an amazing sleeper. Never much work, no cross referencing between sleep books or debates about whether or not to let her “cry it out.” I was so grateful. Sleep returned to our home once again.
Now we have two kids that sleep really well, on a regular basis, and it’s great. For those of you with small babes out there I promise you will get there someday soon too! All of this rambling to say that tonight as I am up, feeling a bit perturbed that I’m not snuggled in bed with my hubby, I am trying to remind myself that for many sleep is not a given. It isn’t something that’s guaranteed. For some, sleep is replaced by hours of racing thoughts or anxiety about what might happen tomorrow. For many others it’s a fear that’s based in the reality that if they let down their guard for even a moment to rest something bad will happen. For others it could be loneliness or a million other things. What keeps you from sleeping? I wish I could say for me it was concern for a world that is so badly in need of grace, love, and healing. Unfortunately, it’s nothing noble. It’s me on a night like tonight ticked off that I’m coughing, even though I can be confident that in a couple of days it will all be a thing of the past. What if I were awake because of a cough or a pain that was chronic, that never let me rest because it never rested? For new moms, you may be waking regularly to care for a healthy and wonderfully robust baby with a ravenous appetite- imagine if you awoke because of empty arms and an ache to hear just one more cry?
How much I want to be a person of perspective and one who shifts her focus to end the pity party and realize just how blessed I am for tickles in my throat and newborn babies who wake to be snuggled and nursed. To be grateful that the things that keep me up all night will not haunt me throughout my day tomorrow or indefinitely. Maybe I’m awake for just that reason- to learn, to be thankful, and to again look outside myself.
What keeps you up at night?