Sri asked me to write about my word choice in my last post. Easy. She said that’s not often a word associated with early parenthood. But it is the most fitting word for me. It may take me a little while to explain this.
Since early adulthood I’ve been a terrible sleeper. It’s a family curse. Every day I feel slightly unsettled, knowing I’ll have to face another long night. And another and another. It’s especially bad when I travel. I’ll often turn down opportunities to go somewhere, knowing it’s not worth the sleeplessness and the anxiety. When I was pregnant I went so many nights without sleep that I started screaming.
Then Olive was born and suddenly the sleeplessness had a purpose. Except that…..she actually slept. From 10pm to 6am each night. And I was so tired from all of it that I slept too. I dropped into sleep like a coin falling into a fountain. All of the night time anxiety went away in a breath.
Now she’s nearly a year old and sleeping alone, and I’m alone again too, the wretched insomnia is creeping back again.
It’s important to bare in mind where I was in the years leading up to Olive. Remember I was really sick. My whole life shrunk down to acheiving two goals:
alleviate physical pain
And that was it. That’s not much. It doesn’t give you much to talk about at dinner parties. It didn’t matter, I didn’t go to many dinner parties during that period of my life. But you see what I’m trying to say here. Life was a dark closet that I sat inside.
Then Olive arrived. This big, healthy, serious baby with skin like a soft pearl. And as she grows I see more and more of who she is inside, she’s revealing herself like she’s a scratch ticket and I keep scratching away and learning that I won! I won! I won!