I love the prompt for Sunday Scribblings this week, especially the first word, My Nights. For more than 11 years, there is no my anything. That is of my own doing, of course. [Well, my husband had something to do with it, if you know what I mean. And I'm pretty sure you do.] You see, nothing belongs to me anymore. I am part of the collective known as a family, and we share everything, from germs to characteristics, from sayings to food, from clothes to beds.
A believer in the family bed when the babies came into being, we shared our nights and beds with little ones. Blessed with the ability to sleep at a moment's notice, anywhere, I managed to breastfeed and comfort newborns and babies with little sleep disruption. My husband, sadly, is still trying to make up for the many sleep hours lost over the years to those things we call children. But me, ah, slap them on a breast and fall back asleep, that was my standard operating procedure.
When Youngest was just over a year old, we came up with the brilliant idea of pitching a tent in the back 40 during the summer. I can't count the number of nights I have slept outside with the kids, first in that tent and then in the pop-up camper we bought three years ago. Once the camper is up, the pleading of little ones requesting to sleep out there begins. Four or so nights a week in the summer, I am out there with them, roughing it in the great outdoors we call a driveway. [And the neighbors likely call an eyesore.]
Pete sleeps in the camper as well, but only when we are actually camping somewhere. We paid good money for a wonderful mattress in our bedroom, and he'll be damned if he's not going to sleep in it. Like I said, the man has to offset his sleep deficit. I believe it'll be knocked down to zero when Youngest finally moves the hell out of our house.
But my nights are filled with the sounds of children talking in their sleep and the exuding of their body heat onto my always-cold self as they burrow closer and closer to me. When awake, they always offer up their backs or necks or other warm spots for me to steal their body warmth. When asleep, they are even more accommodating.
My nights like these will end too soon. I will go back to sleeping in my own bed, with only Pete to steal warmth from. I will not be awakened by anyone suffering a midnight bad dream or bloody nose or imponderable question. I will sleep through the night and awaken to a quiet house, well rested physically but likely aching in my soul for the chaos that typifies my nights nowadays.