This past Wednesday, New Year’s Eve to be exact, I had every intention of staying up until at least 10:00 p.m. Bedtime for me is on average at 8:30 most nights, so I thought I was setting a reasonable holiday goal. Liam and I had no plans other than to spend a quiet night in with the girls, a home cooked meal, and some champagne (just a half glass for me!). After we got the kids to bed, I thought Liam and I could watch a movie, or catch up on some stored-up TV favorites.
Instead, I fell asleep with our youngest, probably around 8:22 p.m., while I was putting her to bed. This should come as no surprise to you readers, as this happens five out of seven nights of the week.
Then, a little while later, I heard my oldest protesting to her father about having to go to bed. Since—unlike pregnant me—Liam can still drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and stay up rather late, and (I could tell) had no desire to argue with our nearly four-year-old going on pre-teen, I groggily offered to lie down with her too.
I woke up hours later in my oldest’s bed when the neighbors began setting off fireworks. I guess it’s midnight I thought to myself. At least I got to acknowledge the moment in my sleep-induced haze. I walked back to my own bed, crawled under the covers and proceeded to listen halfheartedly to the celebratory noises. One burst was especially loud and threatening (it even woke up Liam who rarely wakes for anything, least of all a crying child).
This of course got me thinking about gunshots, which of course then got me thinking about bombs, and shortly thereafter, terrorists. Which then led me to wonder about New York City and other big cities and whether the night’s events had passed peacefully or not.
Fearing they hadn’t, I looked at the clock and wondered how long it would take the media to post breaking news if indeed something terrible had happened. Fifteen minutes? Thirty? I willed myself not to check my phone and just go straight back to bed. And then, I grabbed the damn thing anyway and checked first with the New York Times. I was disappointed to find you now have to pay to access the site. Guess it’s been awhile since I visited there. Boston.com yielded no bad news. NPR mentioned the stampede in Shanghai. Why do I insist on reading this stuff at night, before sleep? Or even at all really, since it takes just hearing or reading bad news of some sort to plant the tiniest seed of doubt, or what-if, or it-could-happen-to-me-too in my troubled little mind. Next stop was social media, for surely my friends in cities big and small would be shouting to the Facebookian hills if they were in danger.
Alas, at 12:30 in the morning it appeared the only bad news was taking place in Asia. I offered up a prayer of love and healing for those poor people and their families and one of thanks that mine was OK.