Domesticity, Easter & the Ephemera of Sleep

I thought it wouldn't happen until after the baby was born. Somehow I've been, for many mornings now, up at 3 or 4 AM. Awake. I lie there, hungry or uncomfortable but mostly just wide-eyed, staring into the darkness, willing sleep to return to me. I've read all about the physiology of pregnancy, how your body shifts it's sleep cycles to mimic that of a newborn: most of sleep time is now spent in light sleep.
Which I think was nice (in theory) of God to prepare me like that. But when you also have to be awake during the day, looking after other children, I start to wonder about the efficacy of giving all the supervisory powers of the household to the grouchy & sleep-deprived.
Rosa, Reluctant Dawntreader
This morning it was 5 when I awoke. I somehow decided that this was a relatively normal hour to be up. The neighbor's lights in the windows and chirruping of birds helped with this illusion. Food and the book of Isaiah also helped. It was with quiet pride that I made the coffee before B, Captain of the Morning got up. His bustling efficiency & exuberance in the AM has been a wonder since our first days together when he called me early one Saturday morning (at least it was before 9.) He started to describe his apocalyptic dreams the night before, while I clutched the phone and moaned silently. "Gee, you sure are up early!" I croaked sleepily after 10 minutes of dream analysis. " Yeah, you know, I guess my first impulse of the day is to find someone and talk to them!" he told me, chuckling. "Red flag! Red flag!" I thought.
And somehow we've managed together for 10+ years and his morning super powers have really been the hand of God extended to me. He would bring me coffee each morning, giving me flowers and reports on how the garden looked in the morning light. A neighbor cat used to accompany him, jumping on my bed and kneading my legs in a quietly reassuring way. It totally pandered to my self-diagnosis of MI (Morning Invalidity).
Her Strident Tones Pierce Through Me
But then G came along, as cheerful & unquenchable a morning sprite as ever strode through the dawn. Most days I let them alone together, enclosing myself in a shroud of dim light in the back of the house, trying to sleep through the squeals, shouts, ukulele chords and Sound of Music re enactments.....
We started a tradition on Easter morning of visiting a nearby meadow at sunrise. We watch the mist rise above the tall grasses, ringed with old growth redwoods and scrub oaks. Some years we see owls, this time it was bunnies and deer. We sing together and read the Easter narrative. I think we started it in order to ensure that we were able to keep Resurrection Sunday in a way fitting with the joy that we found in our hearts; especially since a multitude of other things (family dinners, church, Easter egg hunts and this year, art shows), threatened to envelop the day. Well, Easter morning we woke to G's requisite AM greeting: "Mommy or Daddaaaaayy!" It was 5:30. B leapt out of bed and soon the two of them were laughing and shouting about being at the meadow before the sun. I followed gamely, albeit it silently. And of course it was lovely.
Rosa, Pillar of Salt
But this morning, at 5, I expected to be awake for an hour and then to go back to sleep (G usually doesn't wake up until 8:30). G popped up at 6:45 and hasn't looked back. Me, I'm Lot's wife. And I'm looking back at a morning lie-in that has been destroyed in a maelstrom of fire.
Pretty melodramatic, I know, but as I said, I'm not a morning person.
(photo credit: found on Flickr; taken by real life friend Peter Thomsen. Thanks Peter!)


Anonymous said...

This is an awesome post! We love you guys.

Lucy said...

And all I can think of on your behalf is how many sleepless nights are in store for you!

Am thinking a lot of you at present and hoping things are / will be going well.


Camille said...

Sleeping in is lovely. We are feeling your pain, esp since Dutch has to wake up every weekday morning at 5:30.

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.