Other women don’t tell you what the lack of sleep really comes from

Yes, he didn’t sleep through the night for most of his first year. And the first time he did, it was a fluke on the anniversary of being outside in the world as long as he’d slept inside of you. You celebrated the next morning with brunch and by midnight, he was burning up and having trouble breathing so you spent the night in ER where they could suction the mucous out of his nose. You think about that labored breathing every time he naps for a bit too long or sleeps in a bit too late or you hear coughing behind his closed door. Yes, him being in the world is enough to keep you up at night, but this isn’t why you are up right now, writing this. And, yes, you put away his toys and washed the dishes and took out some laundry, but this isn’t why you’re still up either. It’s 1 am and you are already counting how many hours you have left.

You aren’t sleeping because these are your precious hours. To be alone with you. To find the you that is still there after the house has fallen asleep, snoring with the hum of the dishwasher. Your hours to watch some mindless sentimental television show and drink mint tea and pick out all the yellow gummy bears because, why not? This is why you really don’t get enough sleep. Because this is when you get to write. A poem or fragment or this in-between text that is still you making your way down to the page. Because as soon as you close your eyes, everything starts and speeds again, the “Mommy” rooster-call coming from his room and the dog nudging your elbow with her wet nose and both cats kneading your belly until you get out of bed. And it’s wonderful, in all of its exhaustion, it really is, but you are often lost. Or rather, one version of you doesn’t make it out of bed. She stays there on the pillow waiting for the next night. And you just leave her there and go on with your day.

And on your morning walk with dog and stroller, your son points up at the big white sphere of light and yells, “Luna!” You correct him, explain that this not the moon, not luna, but sun, solnishko, little sun. But who are you to spoil his round-world view, his seeing nighttime magic even in the daylight. Maybe you too should look up and find the moon at any hour of the day and lose less sleep over your search. Maybe, you’ll try this in the morning…

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