I think back on my life before Vivienne and how little I treasured sleep. I mean, I always made a big deal about having it.. and so much so that my darling husband has dubbed “letting Jennifer sleep in” as a sixth love language.. but really in the end I completely took sleep for granted. Allow me to explain.. there is no time (the baby is about to wake up, not really but you get my point) so let me sum up.
In early childhood, when my parents wanted me to take naps, I would fight it and I also hated going to sleep at night, I didn’t treasure sleep.
When working three jobs so I could afford to move to Austin from New Orleans and having late night dinners with friends to strengthen those bonds before leaving, I didn’t treasure sleep.
When in college and pulling all-nighters to write papers or stay up all night with coffee and existentialist conversation, (not a euphemism, not a big drinker or party animal) I didn’t treasure sleep.
While loading in or striking a show set, and then going to Star Seeds or Kerbey Lane to celebrate in pre-show or post-show camaraderie, I didn’t treasure sleep.
When we were getting out of debt and I worked three jobs, and took the occasional day off, I certainly did not treasure sleep.
Also, any time I stayed out late to “sing one more song” at the karaoke bar, I didn’t treasure sleep. As counterpoint to that, any time I GOT UP EARLY- (GASP!) I didn’t treasure sleep!
To be SUPER DUPER CRYSTAL clear, I don’t regret any of that, it’s led to AMAZINGLY deep and important friendships and a lot of laughter.. You know the kind where you can’t breathe for a second.. yep, that’s the one. But, I do wish I had slept a little more… just a little.
I can assure you that within the last two months, I have truly treasured any and all sleep I can get. Sometimes it’s as little as ten minutes, and sometimes when I am TRULY blessed my husband will take over and I get four hours.. It’s glorious to feel that relief come over me as I can truly relax and go to sleep and not “be listening and waiting for her to wake up” because he is on duty.. (thanks Dad!). I wake up so refreshed and feeling brand new, shiny and sparkly –I really don’t have words to describe it, it’s downright miraculous!
I was reminded of how precious this thing we call sleep is and how much I neglected to treasure it because yesterday I didn’t get any sleep at all, because our darling daughter did not go to sleep (as she usually does at her normal time haha) I am rapidly learning, she has her own schedule and Mommy is adapting.. since there is not a way to rationally discuss this with a 2 month old. It’s one thing to talk about this stuff BEFORE the baby gets here.. and quite another to do it when the child is crying and nothing you do settles her enough to sleep..or nothing worse than when you put her down in the crib thinking she is OUT and literally 2 minutes later..Guess what? .. she is COMPLETELY AWAKE. Blissfully, she is sleeping now, and I am about to go SLEEP…..
Sweet, lovely, neglected sleep, can you ever forgive me for not treasuring you as I do now? One day, far into the future, I will have this conversation with my daughter, and hopefully she can have a better relationship with you than I have and in the meantime, I plan to make amends and NEVER take you for granted again.. EVER.
If you have the chance to sleep, I sincerely hope you take it! 🙂
Think about it!