I don't always sleep well. I can usually GO to sleep ok, then when 2am rolls around I'm wide awake and thinking of every bad decision and awkward encounter I've ever had. The next day's to-do list swirls through my mind like so many angry sheep. It's not every night, but it's often enough that there are a few days each week when I think a mid-afternoon nap might be in order. Sometimes I even try to take one, but something about my farm girl brain is hard wired to not allow sleep in daylight hours - ever.
As a result, there are days I exist on coffee and a short temper to get me through until bedtime, when I get to try it all over again.
Sometimes when 2am becomes 3am and then 4am and I just give up and get up for the day, I see posts from people on Facebook and Twitter about insomnia and I know it's not just me. It seems to be a fairly common occurrence among the people I know. As adults, we all seem to struggle from time to time with getting to sleep or with staying asleep, and the common theme that I see and hear it that for whatever reason, we cannot shut our brains off.
It really sucks that as a society we are all so busy and stressed and absolutely exhausted that we just can't sleep well.
It hasn't always been this way for me. I don't even remember having problems sleeping when I was a kid. I maybe had a few less than restful nights in high school, but only a few. The same is true with college. I stayed up late on purpose sometimes, studying for tests, but when it was time to sleep I could sleep, no problem.
My first restless nights definitely came as an grown-up. Once I was on my own in the world, dealing with jobs and bills and people and things and just... LIFE, the sleeplessness really took a hold on me, and it's been there ever since. Like I said, it isn't every night, or even every week, but when it happens, it happens hard.
One of the things I miss the most about being a kid is the ability to sleep totally unencumbered by life. My kids are great sleepers, and can fall asleep at a moment's notice where ever they happen to be. Cooper is especially notorious for falling asleep in odd places.
He sleeps in cars.
He sleeps on the couch.
He sleeps on me (and other people).
He sleeps at the grocery store.
He sleeps... well, wherever.
I'm always amazed. He will be in the middle of a sentence, the middle of a meal, whatever. But if he's sleepy, he sleeps.
How amazing that must be - to have so few worries or responsibilities that you can just drop off wherever and whenever you feel the urge. And how freeing must it be to know that if you sleep, someone will be there to look out for you, to keep you from falling, to keep you safe, to carry you to bed if you need it.
I hope he never loses this ability. Sure, it might be a little awkward to doze off in the middle of math class or whatever, but the underlying feeling of safety and security and rightness with the world is something I hope he is able to hold onto as long as possible.
But I know it won't last long. Just like it did for me, life will start to get in the way. Realities will take over. Uninterrupted, blissful sleep will be replaced by an occasional worry or problem or frustration and someday he will be the one who is up at 2am, then 3am, wondering why it's so hard to sleep at night.
So for now, I'm going to let him make the most of it. If he needs to sleep in the cart at the grocery, I will carefully put him in the car. If he falls asleep on my lap as he often does, I will sit so, so still so I don't disturb him.
This time of freedom from worries will pass quickly, and I want him to enjoy every minute of it, even though he doesn't even realize it's happening.