Though it began suddenly, ours was an easy, effortless relationship at the start. My life had changed dramatically to accommodate you, but it was a welcome change. A necessary change. I was a young and desperate lover. I wanted you several times a day and would take you wherever I could get you: in my bed, in the living room, hell, even in the car. What can I say? I was needy, and you were always available to me. In those days, it was never forced, never one-sided. We were a perfect fit.
As our relationship continued, it changed, as they often do. I could count on you to be there for me most days, but it often took more of an effort. Sometimes I fought to have you. Other times I’d reluctantly give up, realizing you weren’t coming, but confident you’d return to me. Some days, I took good advantage of you, productively using up everything you had to offer me. Other days, I sank into you, letting your seductive powers of persuasion overwhelm my sensibilities. Those days will be the days I miss the most. You were the ultimate Afternoon Delight.
I took you for granted. I thought we had more time. I’m not ready to say goodbye.
But I know this is how it needs to be: I need to break up with you, Nap Time.
Just days before my oldest child’s eighth birthday, my youngest, a 3-year-old, stopped napping. It was sudden. It was unexpected. She just stopped, cold turkey, and without warning. For eight years, at least one of my three children took at least one nap a day, and while one (or two) were sleeping, the others had mandatory quiet time, reading or playing in their rooms. As a stay-at-home mom, Nap Time was My Time. My time for work, my time for pleasure, my time for quiet. But my 3-year-old started having trouble at bedtime. She’d lie awake for hours, unable to settle down after her afternoon nap. Nightmares would wake her after midnight, disrupting her restful slumber. Naps were starting to do her more harm than good.
And so, farewell, Dear Nap Time. I will miss you, more than you know.
But, wait! You can’t leave!
When will I drink my coffee in absolute silence?
When will I write?
When will I pee without an audience?
When will I bitch about my kids on the phone with one of my girlfriends?
When will I watch The Daily Show?!
God knows that, without Nap Time, I won’t be able to stay up late enough to watch it at 11.
I need you, Nap Time!
Just tell me this is not our final goodbye. Perhaps, someday, we will meet again. Meet me at the beach this summer! Come to me as I lay in the shade of the umbrella, while the kids build sandcastles near the water with their dad.
A sweet rendezvous, one last tryst.
I’ll never stop loving you, Nap Time, but I do know how lucky I was to have you for as long as I did.
Thank you for a glorious eight years. Until we meet again!