Sleeping Through the Storm

I’m usually awoken by the alarm clock most mornings. That wasn’t always the case. Before I retired, I would awaken before the ringing started, anticipating the start of another work day, my mind already focused on what needed to get done that day. When I woke up Wednesday morning, my husband said, “That was quite a storm last night, wasn’t it!” I told him I hadn’t heard it.  “Really?” he said.  “It was a wild one and it’s still coming down in buckets.” I listened for a moment, and sure enough, I could hear the torrents of rain gushing down the gutters.  Plus, it was still quite dark, unusual even for five-thirty in the morning this time of year.

When we were a young couple with our first child, it was hard to get a good night’s sleep.  One ear was always listening for a cry or a cough coming from the room across the hall. By the time the next one came along, we had instituted the Family Bed and didn’t even have to get up to tend to the kids, but with the snorts and sneezes and general flopping around of two little ones, sound sleep was not a common thing.

Then the kids grew up, as kids are wont to do, and became those rotten teenagers that keep you up until you hear their car pull in the driveway. No matter how many times they would tell you to stop worrying about them, it’s in your genes as a parent. I’d wake up the next morning, groggy and dragging because I was the adult with things to do while they stayed in bed until noon.

Sleep still evaded me after the kids were grown and gone. I was always thinking about my job and what needed to get done for the meeting in the morning or that report that was due in a few days. And I still worried about the kids. Were they happy? Would they find a good job? Would they find someone wonderful to share their life with?

And then I retired and I’ve found that more and more nights I’ve gotten a good night’s rest, the only thing disturbing my sleep is that occasional trip to the bathroom. No, it’s not that there is nothing to worry about anymore. As long as you’re a parent, your kids will be constantly on your mind. And health concerns and hoping that what you financially planned will last occupy my thoughts now and then.

But over the years, I’ve weathered so many storms, I’ve stayed awake, been vigilant time after time, and you get to the point that you know you just have to let it go. The children have to make their own way in the world, just as I did. We’ve planned our best for the future, and we have to rest on the hope that we’ve done enough. Oh, I have those occasional nights where the old worries resurface or new ones crop up, but I find there are more and more nights I’ve slept through the storm. It’s okay. I’ve earned it. Besides, I think I’m still catching up on the sleep I missed because of those rotten teenagers.

Oh, and for the record, I had trouble falling asleep last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I needed to pack for vacation. Even good things can keep me awake occasionally.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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24 Responses to Sleeping Through the Storm

  1. Val says:

    I don’t have children, so haven’t experienced that side of things, but I know about insomnia only too well, including the visits to the bathroom. That said, last night i had the first uninterrupted night’s sleep in an absolute age!

    Have an enjoyable vacation. I’m hoping to read back through some of your posts soon. 🙂 Be well.

  2. Patti Ross says:

    Oh, the illusion of a good night sleep. I do not have kids so did not awaken to their cries and noises and silences while waiting for the older ones to get home. But I am a light sleeper so noises grab my attention and I awaken before the alarm to be able to keep it quiet! If I have to be startled away by an alarm, my whole day is off. As a non-morning person, my best sleep time is from 2 am to 9 or 10 am–but real-world details like work and such get in the way! Thanks for sharing! Have fun on your vacation.. . and on planning for it and enjoying the grandkids when they visit.

    • Coming East says:

      I think I’ve always been a morning person, Patti. I don’t ever remember sleeping very late as a teenager like my brother did. My granddaughter used to get up before anyone in the house. She’d be up at 6, even on weekends. Now that she is a teenager, my daughter says she can’t get her out of bed. It’s like a switch turns on when you reach a certain age.

  3. I am in smack in the middle of the teenage worries. My hairdresser is loving the extra money she is making covering up the grays! Sleep away, you definitely earned it!!

    • Coming East says:

      Ha-ha, Life! God bless you. You will need strength to get through these years. You need to tell the children if only one of you is going to survive these teenage years, it is going to be you!

  4. Shary Hover says:

    I have trouble with insomnia sometimes, so sleeping well is always a treasure. But there’s something about a stormy night… if I sleep through it, I’m disappointed that I’ve missed the show. Is that weird?

  5. You mean, I will never get sleep again?

    We also had a family bed and I think I averaged a few hours a night. Now both kids are finally in their own rooms…but my husband snores like a freight train. He likes the TV on, I want to sleep in the dark. And we both do the bathroom trips. Most nights I am thrilled when I get six hours solid sleep!

  6. Wonderful thoughts today. I have missed being able to read your posts easily. Have a great vacation. You wrote today what I have never been able to formulate on raising children. Thanks! DAF

  7. adinparadise says:

    I We never stop worrying about our children even when they’re grown up and have kids of their own. Hope you have a great vacation and the packing goes well.

  8. Al says:

    Pretty good synopsis of life while raising kids. Have fun at the Cape!

  9. I’m still awake before the alarm clock…. old habits die hard, I suppose. Have a wonderful vacation! (and YAY for walking a little bit!!!)

  10. I am impressed that you are so disciplined! I only use an alarm now when I have an appointment. The negative is that my body sets its own clock and I am not a morning person. I find I am often sleeping from 2 AM until 9. My fur kids will usually awaken me during a thunder storm, however, I have been known to sleep through earth tremors and minor earthquakes… pretty sad!!

    • Coming East says:

      We don’t set the alarm on Saturdays, Carol, but my husband needs to get up for work during the week, and I always get up and have breakfast with him. I am a morning person, and sleeping in on Saturdays means getting up at seven or seven-thirty instead of getting up at 5:30.

  11. Dianna says:

    So true: we’ll always worry about our children! So you’re planning a vacation..?? Have fun!

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