“As all of nature performed, to teach you the art of dreaming.” It’s a quote from me, actually, and the only one running through my tired mind.
Last night I didn’t get much sleep. Actually that’s kind of an understatement. I got about three and a half, maybe four hours. It was my own fault. I had to do a bunch of work that I procrastinating-ly (yes I made that word up) chose not to do. But whenever that alarm goes off after a sleepless night, I try to trick myself into knowing that I can survive the day ahead. I do this by telling myself, “You did it once! And you can do it now!” It’s only a night, not months like before! I used to be a new mother after all! And as a new mom, many of my readers know that it is a very sleep deprived, half-state-of-consciousness time of our lives.
I can’t complain, my children were always good sleepers, but even so it was interrupted sleep that was pieced together and left me feeling exhausted. But my recent non-sleeping night got me thinking, that if I could handle raising a newborn life in that state of fatigue, I can definitely handle my day!
As crazy as it sounds, I actually really liked that time of my children’s lives, and not just because they were adorable new babies (though I’m sure that that helped somewhat). Believe it or not, I liked that time because in the middle of the night, when no one else was awake, I was needed. I was needed to feed my child, to talk to them and rock them back to sleep … to help soothe them from all of the strange noises of this new world. It was a big responsibility, but it was one I took on with sleepy-smiles!
As a writer I’ve always been a bit of a story teller as well, and I used those midnight moments to regale my son and daughter with fanciful tales of pretend! In those waking hours, when even the stars were too tired to shine, I had a wonderful, grand conversations with my baby boy and girl. Sometimes I would tell them all about Santa, and the amazing adventures he had coming to deliver them treasures. Sometimes, it would be about heaven, and all of the wonder they left behind in order to pursue a great journey here. Sometimes I would make him the hero of the story, or I would make her the princess who rescued the day. No matter what I chose to chatter on about, it was our lullaby time that actually prompted me to write my first book, Lullaby World.
We didn’t always talk about fiction things, though imagination tends to be my favorite. Sometimes, I would have a drawnout discussions with my baby boy on teaching him the art of chivalry. I would walk him back-and-forth around his moon lit room and tell him about coats over puddles, rules of etiquette and holding the door for young ladies. Now, seven-years- old, I like to think that his gentlemanly behavior has everything to do with those lost hours of sleep. I also like to claim credit that my daughter’s fascination with mermaids, including the fact that even at five-years-old she still wants to grow up to be one, might have something to do with planting the seed of words like “once upon a time” and “happily ever after.”
So today, on this bleary, weary, sleep deprived day, I am thankful that I can draw upon my memories of my own personal lullaby world, and have sweet daydreams, until my next bit of sleep, comes true.