I wouldn’t call myself a prophet. I’ll leave that title to people like Samuel, Jeremiah, Elijah and those types. Despite my modesty, it is clear to all who listened just how wise an answer I gave.
As a father of young children, I know that rough nights are going to happen occasionally. It goes with the territory – that’s Parenting 101. I, however, knew this beforehand. When my wife was pregnant, people asked, “Do you want a boy or girl?” I did not give the standard answer that you are supposed to give, “It doesn’t matter as long as the child is healthy.” I told them, “I just want a good sleeper.” Those who were already parents themselves praised my wisdom in making such a request. Most of them then laughed and uttered something like, “Good luck with that one.”
As I noted above, I know that sleep deprivation is part of parenthood and actually knew it before I was a parent. However, these past few weeks (could be longer – losing track of time) have been particularly rough. Thank G-d, my request has been granted. My children are both, on the whole, good sleepers. However, something must be in the air as of late as these sound sleepers are off. Every night one of them crawls into my bed but never both. It is as if they play rock paper scissors during bath time to see who gets to crawl into mommy and daddy’s bed. I wish they always played together, followed the rules and respected each other’s space so nicely.
If my wife is reading this, I know what she is thinking, “You never put them back in bed. You don’t even know they are there half the time. So, what do you care?” Not all true – I do notice them. However, what is even more detrimental is that they have changed me.
Since I began my job over 8 years ago, I have always had to get up somewhere between 5:10 and 5:35. It is not pleasant – especially in the winter. Uggh – bring me the light. I don’t even want to think about that now. Anyway, typically, I am unable to get to bed before 11:30 which means on a normal weekday night, I get about 5.5 hours of sleep. Once upon a time, even writing that would have made me yawn. Now, however, it seems sufficient. In fact even this summer, when I could have slept more, I barely did. I don’t even get so many extra hours on the weekend. Am I becoming old in yet another way? I can hear it now, “Oh no, I only need 6 hours a night. Even on the weekends, I just get up.” I don’t want to get up, but it is just happening. I want to recapture the old glory. I want to lust for a good 9 hour night where I awaken with a yawn and a stretch feeling refreshed. I am afraid that this little joy might be gone. I blame the kids with their night time escapades which have forced me to adapt. Thanks kids.
Who knows maybe this Friday night, after my first full week of school, I will sleep a good sleep? Maybe my children will even sleep through the night in their beds. However, I don’t know as I cannot foresee what will happen in the future. After all, I am not a prophet.