being a mom
A Love Letter To Sleep
When I think back on how I took you for granted for so long, I’d like to say that I’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 didn’t even say goodbye. You just left and because of this, I have suffered greatly.
I can’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 I’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 won’t be afraid but somehow I know everyone can see my pain. It’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. It’s true–I abused you in some ways, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’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.
We’ve had quite the tumultuous relationship these past few years. We don’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, I’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 something’s gotta give, but let’s meet. It can be our secret.
When I’m without you all I can do is think about your sweet embrace. I yearn for you when I can’t remember the way to the bank or how to make oatmeal. When my eyes are red-rimmed and I’m fumbling around the house looking for my keys… that I left in the back door… all night… 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 can’t promise that our relationship will improve in the coming months because here it is. Are you ready? I’m pregnant again. I know it must be hard for you to hear, but it’s true. Ever since the third trimester crept in, I haven’t seen you at all and I’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 you’ll ever know. Perhaps this tiny Dictator of the Night will be kinder than the first. Perhaps he’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 won’t know why.
Try to look past these new accessories I’ve acquired. It’s still me. It’s just what I look like without you.
Until then, my love, I’ll sit weary-brained and imagine the hammocks or beach blankets or chaise lounges where we might meet. I’ll remember the good times we had and I’ll think of you fondly.
Sarah (or someone who looks a little bit like her)