I am more tired than I realized.
I wake up early every day, around 3:30. Not intentionally; I just do. Instead of lying awake or drowsing for another couple of hours, I get up and write. It’s the perfect time, before my menfolk and canines begin to stir.
My early mornings are a logical reason to be tired.
And spring break is still a week away. The last mile is always the hardest . . . .
And I am twenty-five days into a thirty-one day writing streak, the Slice of Life Story Challenge, which requires an extreme level of thought-immersion and attention to the minutiae around me (everything is a writable moment). My receptors must be wide-open all the time. This, however, is a good kind of tired. Even though I am mentally composing while I’m sleeping.
And I am fighting an allergy or a cold; I feel it lurking around my edges. My boys, when they were small, used to say, “I am catching up to a cold.”
And it’s been a long winter. There may be a few snowflakes tonight. Spring hasn’t fully sprung. There’s still a lot of darkness.
And my family marks a year of losing loved ones, young and old, sudden and by inches with dementia. My husband, his sister, and I need to finish cleaning out their mother’s house.
The dogs, knowing I’m the mom of everything, trail my every step. Henry wriggles like a worm, with an insatiable need for pats, for attention, and even poor old Nikolaus, his eyes like clear marbles full of misty clouds, is still able to scamper behind me in hopes of a treat.
And so, I’m tired.
Yesterday, being Saturday, I did something I almost never do:
I finished my post and went back to bed.
My husband, who’s now been up for a short while, reading in the study, comes looking. “Oh, you’re back in bed?”
“Just for a little while,” I say.
“Okay.” He closes the door.
I pull the blankets up to my chin. So cozy. I drowse. I hear bits of blog posts echoing in my brain.
The door opens. Older son. Henry’s so-called “dad.”
“Are you sick, Mom?”
“No. Just resting.”
“Oh, okay.” He goes to fix his breakfast. He loves a big breakfast. His brother won’t eat until lunchtime.
Sniffling outside the door. Henry. He usually begins to grumble-half-whine to come in and snuggle to me, or to sleep on my bed if I am getting ready for work. Today he must sense something. He goes away. Unusual.
Distant clanking in the kitchen. Muffled voices. Footsteps in the hallway.
The door opens. Younger son, Cadillac man.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Just resting.”
“Okay. Lowees.” This is how he first said ‘I love you’ when he was a baby. Lowees. It immediately became part of the family lexicon. We all say it to each other. His father reminds me again and again that Cadillac baby said it to him first.
“Lowees,” I say.
I can’t stay here long. None of them will be able to take it. There’s too much to do, anyway. There are places to be.
But I pull the covers partway over my head, sinking into the warmth, the softness, savoring the moment, grateful for the web of words knitting itself from random scraps in my mind, for the abiding blanket of love wrapped over and around my life.