Tonight as I reflected on a conversation I had today with my friend (and fellow den leader) Anna, I joked with Paul that I’m going to die very young. He replied “you’ll be fine” which is missing the point entirely of my search for support or validation. He can’t help me from his hotel room in El Paso, he couldn’t help me if he were here anyway because he needs to sleep so he can work and keep us alive and all that. The least he could do is provide a little sympathy. Is an echo chamber too much to ask?
Anna had been chiding me for not taking more control of sleep, basically. I tossed it off and said that none of my babies slept well until about 18 months but in the end they became excellent sleepers. She countered that in the meantime all those nights are erasing years off my life expectancy.
Before I even read my scriptures tonight little man had awoken twice. I’m sure it’s that he’s teething but I acknowledge that we have some poor sleeping patterns and that I haven’t been vigilant at stamping them out. The reality is my sleep is just not as important as the sleep of the breadwinner or the sleep of the schoolchildren. I made progress this summer but regressed when the nurse raised the issue of insufficient caloric intake; I went back to feeding whenever and wherever even if it was hourly through the night. By the time things were back to pre-summer bad habits it was time for school again and my window of opportunity had closed.
Sometimes it doesn’t bother me. I know this won’t last forever. And I know that I will never again cuddle my baby in the middle of the night once this phase is over with him. Usually I’m able to appreciate the sweetness and forget myself.
Other times I feel like I’m being held hostage. It’s hard to not be a person equally important as everyone else.