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  • November 27, 2014

To Sleep, Perchance... - Ladue News: Tangential Thinker

To Sleep, Perchance...

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:00 pm

With school out, kids are roaming the house at all hours, shedding clothes like peanut shells at the ballpark. The demands for food, rides, cash, sleepovers, upgrades, apps, and—strangely—privacy are incessant. My reverence for the teaching profession is renewed. (Although I’m not sure how many kids interrupt their teacher at his or her desk to call their cell phone because they can’t find it—but still.) Suffice it to say, the house is bustling. I say this because it only emphasizes the stupidity of my idea.

On a normal day, during a normal week, kids in school, husband at work, it would have been a reach. But now? Mid-June with the inmates running the asylum? It was preposterous. I don’t know what possessed me. Maybe it was the challenge. Maybe it was the darn book that’s keeping me up until all hours of the night (Luminaries by Eleanor Catton). Whatever the reason, I wanted to take a nap.

Now, either you’re a napper or you’re not. If you are not, I highly suggest that you try it. There’s something about a nap that’s liberating. It’s a freebie. Because it’s not mandatory, there’s no pressure. Second, if you fall asleep, great; if not, no harm no foul. It’s just a nice, quiet moment—all positive, no negative. It’s like being at a bar with your friends and that lurky guy with the comb-over doesn’t ask you to dance. But I digress. Where were we? Ah yes, my nap.

I slinked back to my room and gently closed the door. I walked to the bed, pausing at each creaky floorboard like a burglar. Agile, quick and focused I climbed into bed, set my phone to vibrate and switched off the light. Ahhh. So calm, so peaceful...wait for it.

Mom! Where’s my backpack?

Why do you need your backpack?

Now, you may wisely be wondering why I would ask a follow up question. I guess something struck me as odd. I mean, this is a kid who barely used his backpack when school was in session. Why the sudden urgency now?

I want to burn my notebooks in the fire pit.

Mystery solved.

It’s in the laundry room.

Back to the nap. The air cleaner hummed, a lawn mower grumbled in the distance. The wind picked up. It was quiet—too quiet.

Mom! There’s no food!

Now, I find this complaint particularly amusing. I can assure you, whatever else may be lacking in my house, there most definitely is food.

There’s tons of food.

I’m starving.

I believe it’s comedian Louie C.K. who uses the expression, 'first-world starving.' Clearly, we have a case of that here. And, you know how the first few rocks fall, then comes the avalanche?

There’s a bee in my room!

Cranky took my charger!

Who deleted Awkward?!

Punch is in my room!

Pebbles ate a chicken leg!

Whiny threw his phone at my head!

Pebbles threw up a chicken leg!

Someone’s at the door!

Pebbles ate the chicken leg again!

After a while, it all became a blur. I think you can see how this all played out. My senior quote in my college yearbook was an observation by a renowned Manhattan attorney, “All great men take naps.” One day, I hope to be great.

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