Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 40: The Nap

When I was in college I had to train myself to nap.  I wasn't the type of high schooler to fall asleep on the couch in my parents' living room, or to even sleep in much on the weekends.  I don't know how old I was when I gave up naps, but based on information I've been given about my childhood, I would guess that it quite early. Even in my early years of college I wasn't one to nap.  I could stay up until the wee hours of the morning, get up for class the next day, and still opt out of a nap. 

Naps were so rare, that I still remember the moments I finally allowed myself to give in to the idea of an afternoon nap.  It was just the most outstanding feeling I had ever had.  It was fall in Chicago and I was doing my student teaching.  It was a rare warm Sunday afternoon and I had packed up my books and some coffee into my backpack and headed out to a neighborhood park that jutted out onto Lake Michigan.  I remember throwing a blanket on the ground, lying on my stomach and rather than pulling out my textbooks and lesson plans, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to drift off.  It was completely unplanned, but something that was so magical that I still think about today.

For years after that naps were still something I opted out of.  I often felt worse after I woke up from them, and I had trouble just falling asleep out in the open. My husband would fall asleep everywhere and I would eye him with jealous on week nights at 6:30 while he dozed on the couch as though he had absolutely no obligations.

Having kids changed everything.

I am just seriously tired all of the time.  Naps are amazing ways for me to remember that I can be alive again after a particularly hard day. 
And the weekend afternoon nap - SHUT. UP.
 I've started climbing up into my son's top bunk to sleep during their quiet time, and kicking him out into my bedroom for the allotted two hours I make them stay in bed.  The beauty of this is that when they get up and play earlier than I'm ready to, they totally forget I'm even in the house and go about their business without waking me up to ask if I remember what Mater said yesterday in the book we read on our way to the shop at 7:34 in the morning when we were buying milk. Or if I can get them food.

Today I am thankful for a good solid nap.

To feel revived and refreshed when you still have half a day in front of you is something pretty spectacular.