During this luscious week of no school for the Kindergartner, we snooze well.
Except when we are awakened from chasm-sleep somewhere between 2a.m. and maybe 4:30a.m.—after the bars have closed, but before the rooster across the alley busts its lungs—after we’ve been asleep since pre-midnight eras, but before we’re ready for homemade banana pancakes (secreted with carrot puree and a teaspoon of some famous Vegan’s famously grassy powder). That iffy chunk of night when, if one should gasp to consciousness, one might plunge effortlessly back into sleep, as if nothing sleep-distracting had ever happened. Or, one might experience toe spasms (all 10), dreads thought dead, that the bedroom clock ticks, the inconvenience of 8 pillows on an outdated mattress gone (only at this time of night-morning) nails.
I sit up with a soul-freezing gasp, the dog’s nose pushing into my palm. Staggering to the patio door, I let the dog out, falling backwards into the piano keys with a moan because the yard’s sensor lights flick on and are so very bright, just like they are every night. Toes cramping, I hobble outside: the dog’s barks are low and vicious and he’s just a friendly yellow lab who insists on love instead of peace—and there’s my 16lb kitten way out in the North 40, hunched on the wall, staring at something on the other side and I’m terrified he’ll jump or be attacked and I’m about to trek across the grass when back in the house the conure tucked in his bird mansion screams and my husband emerges from a giant’s shadow, shout-whispering WHAT THE HELL GET IN HERE PB as one of the 2 ancient cats does his all-is-lost Egyptian-tomb-echo yowl and I wonder why we even try to sleep, because really we’re missing out on so much—writing time, the black night’s silky cool, that strictly poetic mist gyrating around my kitten balancing a wall’s precipice, the magnificent pose of our dog protecting what he believes is his in fading sensor light—the Kindergartner’s sleep, undisturbed—my husband and I hovering over him, hand in hand, watching beauty in action.