After a Good Night’s Sleep

photo by Martin LaBar (on hiatus), via Flickr

Today, I am thankful for sleeping till 7:15, and being awakened by the slanting rays of sunlight instead of a baby’s cries or an obnoxious alarm clock.

I am thankful for a husband who knew he could offer me a welcome rest by taking two kids with him when he went to visit family. And who took the child I most needed a break from–the one who does not know how to shut off his voice box unless he’s asleep, and sometimes not even then.

I am thankful for sleeping in the middle of the bed, and children who were in bed by 8p.m., giving me some much-needed down time.

I am thankful for sleeping with the windows open.

I am thankful for two days in which I actually was able to concentrate on my novel–for the first time in months, feeling that I actually accomplished something on it, because of the quiet around the house.

But I am thankful, too, for a much-needed reminder that the child who is hardest for me to deal with right now is probably the one who needs me most .

And I am thankful that the quiet, the bed to myself, the sleeping late, was only for this one night. I am thankful that by dinnertime, we’ll have all the chaos back. It’s not the chaos I miss–I could do without that forever–but the love it represents. Because the truth is that, just as motherhood is a variegated flower containing both light and dark, so is family. You can’t have one without the other.

And that insight is perhaps the most important “gratitude” of all.