being a mom
A Love Letter To Sleep
When I think back on how I took you for granted for so long, Iâ€™d like to say that Iâ€™m truly sorry. I really wish things could be different between us. But it seems like ever since the tiny Dictator of the Night showed up at my house a few years ago, you turned away and never looked back. You didnâ€™t even say goodbye. You just left and because of this, I have suffered greatly.
I canâ€™t say that I blame you much. Your efforts might be better served elsewhere. But I miss you so much that sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts so much that I feel it in my bones and I can barely move, just groan. Sometimes when Iâ€™m feeling this way, I have to hurl myself through the grocery store aisles. I prop myself up against the cart, throwing random items into it and wearing gigantic sunglasses that cover most of my face. I do this so that children wonâ€™t be afraid but somehow I know everyone can see my pain. Itâ€™s just too hard to hide.
You were always there for me back in the good old days. You were there in college when I needed an afternoon nap because going to class was just too exhausting without you. You were there for me when I stayed out all night and needed a full day to recover. You were there long after the sun came up, as I dreamed away the weekend. Whenever I called to you, you came, no questions asked. You just showed up when and where I wanted. Itâ€™s true–I abused you in some ways, but I didnâ€™t know what I was doing. I couldnâ€™t see how special you were. I know this is long overdue, but thank you. I know the true luxury of you now, when I look back and see that you were too good to me.
Weâ€™ve had quite the tumultuous relationship these past few years. Â We donâ€™t see much of each other anymore and I truly regret this. I know you are busy with other teenagers and college kids that think they need you, but I need you more. I know you think I am too busy for you but I promise if you find your way back to me, Iâ€™ll make time. I will have to call for backup. I may need a few weeks to plan, to let the tiny dictator know that somethingâ€™s gotta give, but letâ€™s meet. It can be our secret.
When Iâ€™m without you all I can do is think about your sweet embrace. I yearn for you when I canâ€™t remember the way to the bank or how to make oatmeal. When my eyes are red-rimmed and Iâ€™m fumbling around the house looking for my keysâ€¦ that I left in the back doorâ€¦ all nightâ€¦ for the third time this week. That is when I need you the most.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but I canâ€™t promise that our relationship will improve in the coming months because here it is. Are you ready? Iâ€™m pregnant again. I know it must be hard for you to hear, but itâ€™s true. Ever since the third trimester crept in, I havenâ€™t seen you at all and Iâ€™m scared this is just the beginning of your long hiatus. If this is true, I will forgive you. I will pine for you every day you’re gone because what we had meant more to me than youâ€™ll ever know. Perhaps this tiny Dictator of the Night will be kinder than the first. Perhaps heâ€™ll let me have you every once in a while at least, just enough to stave off the dark circles and the perpetual self-loathing.
The next time you see me, I may look different. My teeth and clothes might be stained with coffee. My hair might be unkempt. I will most definitely be wearing stretchy pants and a thick layer of breast milk and sweat on every visible surface of my skin. I will be also be clad with a coating of spit-up and diaper cream once again. My belly may jiggle a bit more. And perhaps my thighs and chin even. I can probably be found in the kitchen, shoveling something in my mouth while leaning over the sink, shaking the crumbs off my Willie Nelson t-shirt and rocking a tiny man in my arms who will probably be screaming at me and I wonâ€™t know why.
Try to look past these new accessories Iâ€™ve acquired. Itâ€™s still me. Itâ€™s just what I look like without you.
Until then, my love, Iâ€™ll sit weary-brained and imagine the hammocks or beach blankets or chaise lounges where we might meet. Iâ€™ll remember the good times we had and Iâ€™ll think of you fondly.
Sarah (or someone who looks a little bit like her)