I never have been a heavy sleeper.
Even when I was a child, I remember lying awake while my family slept, slumbered and snored the night away, usually without me. I remember staying with my grandparents and listening to the nocturnal sounds of my Nanny as she watered the plants, cleaned house, caught up on her crosswords and just "tinkered" about the house.
Never did I inform her of my wakefulness.
I just remained in that state between deep sleep and relaxation, comforted by the knowledge that she was up. A feeling of safe enveloping my body, a calm wrapped around me.
I've been having trouble sleeping.
No new thing.
I thrive in the hours after my children go to bed. I relish the "alone time" and try to use it wisely and to great benefit. Sometimes watching television, sometimes reading, sometimes soaking in the tub.
Always, I do chores. The laundry that is left. The dishes that are left. The clutter that is left. The organizing of school things for the next day. The picking up of toys, belonging to children as well as dogs, left all over the house.
Or like tonight, at 1am, the bringing out of the garbage in the frigid cold because we forgot that tomorrow is pick-up day.
It's lonely in the night, when I check on my sleeping kids and kiss my husband (who wakes for nothing) as I make my rounds until the off-balance washing machine beckons me with an immediateness that cannot be ignored.
As I reposition the towels and other heavy things in the wash tub, I think about those above me, my children. I wonder which one of them, if any, are in that fuzzy dream-like world between the conscious and unconscious?
Which one of them hears their mother "tinkering" like an old woman in the middle of the night? And do they feel the same way I did?