Lately, a baby boy who whimpers every few hours has caused me to lose beauty sleep. For some reason, he insists on diaper changings and feedings several times during the night. Sleepless nights aren't new to me, though.
Every Christmas Eve was difficult when waiting for Santa's arrival. I thought if I stayed awake I might get to meet him. I remember hoping to ask him for a baby brother. Even though my teacher helped me put it on my Christmas list, she said I needed to talk to my parents about it. I figured if I talked to Santa in person, he might grant my wish. Of course, I fell asleep--but it couldn't have been for long. I was always groggy when my big brother jumped on my bed, whispering loudly, "Brandi! Santa's been here. There's presents! Go get Mama and Daddy!" I guess he was too "big" to share his complete excitement and wake them himself.
Other times I remember being so happy with anticipation I had trouble sleeping. Strangely, they had to do with uniforms. In elementary school, we wore our Blue Bird uniforms to school on the day of the big meetings. In middle school and high school, we wore our cheerleading uniforms to school on game days. Each of these were placed over a little red rocking chair in the corner of my room. Before prom and before my debut in the marching band, the corresponding clothes hung outside my closet door. Instead of sleeping I stared at them.
Of course, I've lost sleep to less happy times as well. I've spent a lot of nights awake with worry. Whether it was a test I didn't study for or a meeting I dreaded or simply something I knew wasn't going to turn out well, I've fretted my night away.
But lately, getting to sleep isn't the problem... it's staying that way.
Journal: Write about a single sleepless night. What caused it? How do you feel? What do you notice about your environment that differs from during the day?