A Note to a Friend Named Sleep

I didn’t think you’d leave so quickly, sharply, and forcefully.  I didn’t think I’d miss you this much.  After all, I was used to staying up late to work, to think, to do nothing, or to prepare messages or articles or lessons. 

I knew my house late at night and it knew me.  I could navigate without you for long stretches.  That was before. 

I didn’t think I’d need you to keep my head from aching, to maintain my grip on life, to keep me sane.  Then my son came.

I caught myself thinking about you. 

About the way you flashed unconnected images from years ago across the screen in my head when I least expected it.  About your gift for the dramatic.  About how you could take the more obscure detail and bring it to life. 

I remembered that piece of a dream that embarassed me.  I remembered the joy I felt when you recalled that loved one I had almost forgotten.  I remembered when sleep felt like rest and not like a series of interruptions called sirens or cries right over there in that crib he can’t seem to settle well into.  All those your sweet gifts.

Friend, I miss you, but I will find you again.  I’ll locate that fleeting feeling when I wasn’t so dependent on my green tea to open those deprived blood vessels. 

It will be when this little one, this new resident in our house, releases his tiny tight tips from my pillow.  It will be in two more weeks or four months after his first real breathes, in six months, or whatever else the next person says.  It will be when he sleeps through the night, even if the night is never quite as long as it once was.  It will be when I travel for work and leave that screaming set of lungs I came to adore in just a few days. 

I will find you when I steal moments that aren’t mine to have.  Perhaps when he’s asleep.  Perhaps during a meeting.  Hopefully not while I’m driving or walking or doing something else that requires wakefulness.

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