Thursday, October 13, 2011

Zen and the Art of Napping

Thanks to a gentle nudge from a friend and fellow parent who likes to vicariously feel like an attentive and loving father by reading my blog, I am returning from my hiatus as a - and I quote - total f-ing slacker.

It's not that I don't want to write, that I've run out of things to say, that there aren't at least a half a dozen moments every day I wish I could lasso up with words and remember forever. It's finding the time. And not just any time - I do have some time - but rather those rare moments when I'm not either knee deep in parenting, housekeeping, working, or stealing a few precious minutes for myself. Lately, the latter have come fewer and farther between.

I don't know if Amari is beginning the process of - god forbid - phasing out the nap, but recently her sleep patterns have been a bit erratic. Some days the nap is non-existent, others mandate a car-induced coma with a silent prayer that CC's dogs have gone to heaven as I try to quietly transfer her into the house and onto the couch. Even then, the naps have been light and my workouts have been cut short by the cries that come through the baby monitor. On the afternoons when I concede completely to the universe, I rush into the living room, pick Amari up, and place her gently on my chest where she'll often sleep even longer than I would have imagined in the first place.

On one such occasion, I was so exhausted I drifted off to sleep for almost an hour. Upon awakening, eyes still have closed, I recalled a vague image of those early weeks, lying on the same couch with a much smaller, much lighter, and to be honest much less interesting model of the same daughter. Oh sure, I loved and adored her then, absolutely and completely, more deeply than I'd ever felt in my life, but now I know I was only scratching the surface. I also remembered thinking that a co-sleeper shaped like the belly of a middle-aged man would be my first of many million dollar parenting ideas.

The interesting thing was, although I could remember a semblance of something similar and familiar to that moment, I couldn't remember anything else. "What the hell did I used to write about?" I thought. "What the hell did Amari and I used to do all day? How did I pass eight to ten hours a day when she couldn't crawl, walk, or talk? What did we do this morning?" It was some sort of parenting fugue state, and although it disturbed me at first, when I looked down at Amari - completely still and peaceful - it made perfect sense. "There is nothing more important," I thought, "not in the past nor in the future, as this moment right now.

"And, oh yeah," I added, "She used to nap a lot more."

To be continued...

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