Beautiful Sleep

Just got back from a sleep vacation, and boy do I feel great.

Nothing like 10 hours of shuteye to get back on track after a long, long week.

I just borrowed a play from Little C. and A., who get plenty of rest and manage to run me ragged every day.

C. goes to bed at about 7:30 p.m., waking up 11 hours later. A. falls asleep at 8:30 p.m. and gets up at about 6:30 a.m. They’re like Energizer bunnies, keeping me hopping. When a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old are pitted against a 41-year-old, the kids usually win.

So there I was on a Friday night, passed out at about 7:30 p.m. I don’t just fall asleep. I dissolve into the mattress, becoming one with the bed.

L. says I sleep like a man who has not known rest for years. She marvels at how I can remain sleeping even when commotion fills the house. An earthquake could hit, a tank could rumble though the front yard and AC/DC could be playing live in the back yard and I wouldn’t even notice.

When we first met back in the late 90s, L. thought it was strange how I would sleep for 15 hours straight. I didn’t think it was a big deal, really. Sleeping was a hobby of mine at that point in life.

These days, sleep is elusive. I’m up at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays to be at work by 6 a.m. I keep moving until about 10 p.m., fueled by coffee along the way.

The toughest time of the day is usually that last hour before the kids go to bed. Somehow, that 60 minutes seems like an eternity. The kids need their baths and stories. C. does everything she can to avoid bedtime. She needs a story. A drink. A book. A. does much the same.

When the kids are finally in bed, both L. and I let out a long sigh. Whew. Another day nearly done.

But then we face all the tasks we can’t get done when the kids are awake: e-mail, bills and phone calls that need returning. And then it’s nice just to sit quietly, sipping a Sierra Nevada. Sometimes, I need to catch up on “Mad Men” and “True Blood.”

So for now, I’ve got energy. I’ve got powers like bionic Steve Austin, and I make the same sound as I go through the day.

Sleep has rebuilt me.

And as I prepare to take the kids to Land Park for a round at the playground, something tells me I’ll need the strength.

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