Babies are very demanding and all that care takes over too often and blocks out the introduction of an astounding new person. I won't get on my normal soap box about how child-care is a industrial consumer complex conspiracy, not this time. But it is the care that's the rub.
My son has stayed up very late for the last few weeks. It is annoying. This week p-man suggested we might cut the N-A-P as a test to get better bedtimes. Now we of course would never do that because
To lose the nap would cue the first time in nearly 5 years we were not spending part of our day punctuated by a child at rest. A child asleep. A child away. I realize the nuances and degrees of identity I put into nap. I register only today so fully what lay behind my inumerable nap/no-nap anxieties.
It is about the care. The beauty of the nap is that it signals to me the moment when I need do no more. The moment the infant is done feeding, the toddler turns over from storytime, the intermission between hours of carrying and encouragement, negotiation, displine.... etc etc. A penultimate coffee break. The windows I carry with me from the time before; the aloneness of pre-child self. Aloneness, in the day where for 5 or 10 or 15 minutes I need not care for them.
It frightens me to no longer have the naps. To have them awake ALL DAY. Mostly I think it frightens me to not have the buffer. For nothing to remind me of that degree of aloneness or my separation from the awesome responsibility of being their mother forever. Night and day, day and night year upon year. My motherhood stretching out to infinity, no 6 month checkups to assess, no milestones writ large.. know what I mean?
But when I put it that way I feel a full measure of liberation. A new phase into this being where my relationship with them, while still caring, is not defined by care. Something with much more room for them to be... and me too.