It is 10:30, and I should be in bed. I don't ususally go to bed at this hour, but I have been up later than usual this week, and I am now fully in 'back to work' mode. I came home from a stressful birthday dinner for Austin. My dear sweet children colored on the very nice tablecloth and threw a steak knife at the poor unsuspecting woman behind us. It took every ounce of energy I had to get them out of their carseats and into their beds. At least in the carseats they are attached to a chair. But being SuperMom Extraordinaire, I let them sleep in the house for tonight.
I took off my heels and hugged my trusty loving robe-friend. Contacts went into their special solution, and Floss almost did the work all by himself. I had not the energy or desire to do anything else but put my weary, horrifyingly un-pedicured feet into my favorite flip-flops.
I went over the events of the upcoming day with Austin, and he set his sights on slumber. In a record 17 seconds, he was snoring and already taking up too much of the bed.
But I wasn't ready yet to commit my day's memories into the morphing of tonight's dreams. I felt slightly restless, though still exhausted. I hate that feeling...
I laid out the kids' clothes for tomorrow. I like to know that everything is ready; I like to know where everything is. I thought that this day's end act would release me into the realm of nod.
I should have gone straight up to my haven of chocolate covered fluff that is my bed. But I didn't feel ready. So I turned the fauced as hot as it would go, and filled my cavernous tub full of the soothing glassy warmpth. I shaved my legs for the first time in 924 hours and read a bit of Jane Austen. I felt more sleepy.
So out of the bath came I, wrinkled and red. (Sounds lovely, right?) I opened the door to my room and was greeted with the utter and total darkness that only comes when every light in the house is turned off. Silence filled my ears....until all three of my housemates filled that silence with their various allergy-related hackings.
In my momentary post-light blindness, I should have put my arms out in front of me and felt my way to the bed. But I heaved the Jane Austen tome into my freshly moisturized arms and shuffled my way through the dark to find the stairs.
I contemplated watching a movie, but I really didn't want to go find my glasses. I thought about continuing my reading in Austen; she is so familiar and friendly. I told myself to go to bed. I told myself to just stay up all night long. I tried to entice my tastebuds with a lovely hot cup of creamy black tea until I realized that I am all out....we drink entirely too much of the stuff.
I couldn't decide what to do. So I called my oldest and closest friend.
Talitha did her sisterly duty of listening to me whine about the week's trials, and empathetically replied in all of the right places. But she had work to do, and she had The Tudors to watch. I could not fault her for getting off of the phone. She works hard every minute of the day and needs all of the relaxation that Showtime can afford.
So here I sit, typing away to myself about myself and not knowing what to do with myself.
Do you ever have trouble falling asleep? I have always struggled with it. I know that there are all kinds of remedies, both effective and legal. Trust me, I've tried all of them except for a warm cup of milk; I am lactose intolerant and this would lead to anything but a good night's sleep.
I discovered at a very young age that nighttime brought all kinds of creative thoughts, swirling into my head at sometimes breakneck speed. I had amazingly vivid dreams, and horribly realistic nightmares. Before long, I would pad down the hall and climb into my sister's bed. She is a much better person than I, and let me stay almost every night.
You will laugh, and perhaps think me pathetic. But I slept in my big sister's bed until she left home to get married. But by this time, we just liked falling asleep while talking of the day's events or deciding what kind of haircut she should try next or what movie to rent.
It was my bedtime ritual. I now realize how much it allowed me to process and de-program at day's end. It was my warm cup of milk, sans frantic potty visits.
Austin and I talk. We see each other or are right beside each other about 19 hours out of the day. And I'm quite sure that will make an interesting future topic to blog about. Strange though it may sound, we make it work. We get to converse quite a bit. We talk about work, about church (same thing for us) about our kids and how much we __________ them. (That blank changes hourly) We have been together now for over six years, so we feel comfortable saying just about anything. We talk history, religion, arts, the horrible fate awaiting subpar Starbucks baristas; all the normal stuff.
But Austin will always be Austin. And he can never really have a great conversation about Bikini-Induced-Hysteria. He will never want to hear me discuss in detail all of the things that I ate that particular day. He doesn't know what a saddlebag is or why it makes me want to die a little bit inside when I see it winking at me in the mirror. Austin is very intelligent, thoughtful, verbose and mature. But I can't see him ever getting caught up in a mad rush of feeling for Mr. Darcy and all that he did for the Bennett family.
My sister has, can, and does.
Austin likes to shoot rabbid bunnies with plungers before going to bed. He needs to play Madden football or bowl or hunt cavemen, or pretty much anything that can happen on a video game system. He relaxes this way, which is beyond my scope of reasoning. My heart races when I am ending the lives of the poor little virtual rabbits, and it is more of a daytime activity for me. I need adequate time to recover from the responsibility of taking computer-generated life.
But he has his way, and I have mine. He plunges moffia mammals. I make do with baths, books, and brownies.
But sometimes, like tonight, I need something more.
In growing up I have found that you usually replace your very loved things with your most loved things. I no longer snuggle with Rolph, the over-hugged and adored stuffed dog of my younger years. I now snuggle my two girls as they hold their own stuffed animals. Childhood bedtime rituals gave way to the long baths and literature I so enjoy.
This is natural, and normal, and good.
But all the same, I cannot help it tonight as I sit here alone: I want my tea, my sister, and my good long talk about Mr. Darcy.
And now must I to bed. I will for sure feel the fool in the morning when I recall my going-to-bed angst and tears as I wrote this little scrap of a feeling.
So good night, to you and to me. It is time to put my over-emotional self to bed. I'll walk up the stairs and kick off my flip-flops. I'll fall asleep to the music of three nearby whistling noses, and be thankful for the new rituals that life has brought my way.
I wonder if I'll dream about Mr. Darcy and King Henry feeding me brownies. Do dream calories cause saddlebags?