No one warned me that sleepless nights extend far beyond one's children's days of infancy. I don't think I have slept the night in nearly eight years. First there were feedings, then nightmares, then fevers and coughs, then potty breaks. There's nothing quite as frustrating as getting up to perch the little one over the potty only to find a puddle of warm pee on the bed. *Sigh* And occasionally, there are just the nights when it's not in the cards to sleep.
I don't know if it was the rotten day that came before bed, the pounding headache as I lay there on the pillow, the multiple bathroom runs with the little one, my husband's certainty that the boys' bed was soaked, or the little one's insane coughing which (after a drink, Vick's Vapo Rub, and cough syrup) prompted me to bring him downstairs so he could sleep upright. But come 2:17, I suddenly was no longer tired.
At these moments, in the silent stillness of the house--well, not quite silent. The little one is snoring on the couch. Daddy is turning over occasionally upstairs, the big one is muttering in his sleep, and I can hear the ladies next door softly banging home from their late shift. But in the relative quiet, I wonder what to do. Hang out in the kitchen where the light won't wake the little one and read? Watch ancient shows on mute TV?
Life seems suspended. I have been granted a reprieve, which is a very good thing because I need one after today, and for a few moments or hours or however long I'm up, I can shelve whatever hard feelings, sadness, and frustrations the day brought and revel in how very blessed I am at this moment.
I'm not guaranteed anything more than this moment, and I don't have control over anything that happens next. But for this moment, I am grateful for my trying-to-be-quiet-but-not-quite-succeeding neighbors, thankful for the tossing husband, appreciative of the snoring little one, and amused by the muttering big one ("Dragons!" and "I told you not to" were the last things I heard. I hope he remembers the dream tomorrow because it sounds awesome).
And sleep or no sleep, I think this has the makings of being a very good night.