Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Seeing the future in the past.

I've slept like total crap the last couple of nights.  Last night I woke up at 1:15 in the morning and didn't really get back to a fitful dozing until about 5:30.

None of my tricks worked.  I tried thinking of names in alphabetical order (Albert, Benjamin, Charles, etc.), and counting backwards in multiples, because I read that falling asleep is actually easier when your brain is mildly engaged.  But I can count backwards in multiples of 3 too easily and too quickly, so then I started from 1000 and counted backwards by subtracting 9, then 8, then 7, on down through 2.  I think that was actually a little bit too complicated and prevented sleep more than it helped, plus I got down to 0 and still wasn't sleepy, so I simplified by starting again, counting backwards by 7.

I slept a little bit, but it wasn't restful sleep - lots of doze-y dreams when you feel like you're still awake.  I had a shitty headache and a bad stomach when I woke up.  Being overtired always makes me slightly nauseated.  So I decided to stay home from work and try to get some sleep and feel better.  It's a cold, snowy day - perfect for resting and chilling out.

I started watching the movie Enough Said, because I've been wanting to see it for a long time, and it was on pay-per-view.  I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and I love James Gandolfini, and the movie was really well-reviewed.  It's about these two divorced people who find love with each other, and bond over the fact that they both have daughters that are going far away to college soon.  There's a scene when Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her ex-husband are taking their daughter to the airport to say goodbye to her, and JLD is crying.

It made me think of Josie.

Right now Josie is all four-year-old cuteness and lisp-y pronunciations and snuggles.  Her current state is so present in my mind.  I don't ever imagine her as a teenager or as an adult -- she fills up my brain so much as she is right now, it usually doesn't occur to me. And she is going through such a mama-love stage.  She constantly hugs me and kisses me and folds her crazy long legs into my lap so I can read to her.  She and I will snuggle in bed, and she will rub her hand on my cheek, like she just wants to be sure of me.

I know this is going to sound weird, but sometimes I forget that she looks to me, and loves me, the way I love my own mother.  Which is to say, with such enormity that it can be overwhelming.  I talk to my mother almost every day, and on days when I don't or can't because she's traveling overseas or something, I instinctively reach for the phone 5 times a day before remembering I'll have to wait.  She is the one I want to tell everything to, and share everything with.  Hers is the advice and approval I seek out more than anyone else's.  Or the one that I want to just shoot the shit with, because she's fun to talk to.

When I think about the fact that I am that person for my own children, the sense of responsibility I feel scares me sometimes.  And it makes me love them all the more.

Watching the movie, I saw in my head the similar scene that I had with my own mother when I went to college at UVa and had to say goodbye to her, when she and my dad were still living in India.  I sobbed when she left, and missed her so desperately (and back then, there was no Skype or Vonage or cheap international calling plans, or even email -- we wrote snail-mail letters, and when I talked to my parents on the phone, it was a crackly connection and it cost me a fortune, so the huge distance felt HUGE).  And I started to cry thinking about it, knowing that I would be in that situation again, only on the other side, saying goodbye to my baby girl as she goes out to start her grown-up life.

There is still a long time before that will happen.  And of course I want my children to grow up and go out on their own and be independent.  But thinking about it makes me feel old and sad.

I need to get some sleep.

1 comment:

  1. I understand, and parenthood is more enormous than I ever imagined, and the love is bigger than I could ever have conceived of. Sleep will help. It is so easy to go down that path when you are overtired and not feeling great.