It’s been an incredibly sleep elusive month. And let’s not pretend like the months before that were easy. Every time we get into any kind of rhythm of quality sleep, another tooth cuts, we go out of town, or we get some crazy bug passed around the family.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t slept well since 2013 at this point between a colicky baby, pregnancy aches and pains, and now a baby who genuinely enjoys being up chit-chatting in the middle of the night.
I have never been this tired in my life.
In college, I’d pull all-nighters fueled by Reese cups, Gardetto’s, and sour apple slushies. When we started dating, I slept less than 3 hours a night as we melded our class and work schedules with our dorm’s visitation policy – and I didn’t have to consume caffeine at all to make that work.
But this almost 30 and three kids thing feels like the most tired I’ve ever been. Ever. Maybe the almost 30 thing doesn’t have anything to do with it. Maybe it’s just the late-night gab seshes with our almost toddler.
Regardless of what it is, I need you to know something. For the days it doesn’t feel like it. For the days it seems like I’ve forgotten. And for the days that when you come home from the office, I fall dead asleep in our bed and don’t talk to you.
I see you. I appreciate you. I love you. And I’m sorry.
I see you.
I see you working hard to provide for our family. I see you not getting sleep because of sleeping on the ground outside with the big kids or from running interception for the little sleep I get.
As I move, zombie-like throughout my day, wearing the same spit and snot covered clothes that I’ve worn for embarassingly long time, I want you to know that I see you. I see how you work and sacrifice and encourage.
And while I’d love to spend more time studying the lines I see around your eyes and the grey hairs in your beard that weren’t there 8 years ago, for today, I want you to know that I see you.
I appreciate you.
I don’t just see you. I am thankful for you. For what I see, like you being on top of the dishes like white on rice. And for what I don’t see, like the fact that I have no idea when our credit card bill is due each month.
My hope each day is to eek out one ‘thank you’ in between kisses or kids or work or anything to let you know that I see you and appreciate you.
If I miss a day, know that it’s not because I’m not thankful. Sometimes I’m so thankful I don’t know where to start. And sometimes I can’t make my mouth make a sentence or keep my eyes open. When I take your covers at night, think to yourself that it’s me saying ‘thank you’ if I forgot that day.
I love you.
My little Facebook memories reminded me today that 7 years ago today, we were 6 short months from saying ‘I do’ in that little church that we filled up with all the love we thought we’d ever need.
And 7 years later, I have to say that I love you more now and in ways than I ever thought possible than I did that day. Our marriage isn’t perfect and there are times when don’t like how something is working or how something is feeling.
On those days, I remember that love is a choice. It’s not a feeling that picks us up in a tidal wave and deposits us one day in the grave having covered over our whole lives. Instead, love is like a surfer who paddles out to meet each wave, over and over and then rides the ups and downs and twists and turns. And learning as she goes, paddles out to meet another wave.
I’m sorry that some days you get me in my ratty college sweat pants and a messy bun that makes me 4 inches taller. I’m sorry that when we finally get the kids in bed that my body melts into the couch in a way that declares to the world that I’m off duty. I’m sorry for when shallow love tanks and managing personalities that are big with big emotions leaves me snapping and short.
Mostly I’m sorry that you don’t get the best of me. I don’t want to wake up in 20 years when the house is quiet and I can shower whenever I want to see that I have forgotten how to give you my best. How to laugh and play and flirt and encourage and support.
This exhausted season will not (Lord willing) last forever. One day all too soon our babies won’t be babies anymore and we’ll be losing sleep over them for all new reasons.
I know you want to help. So in case I forget to ask for what I need, here’s some ideas: an uninterrupted hot shower, an uninterrupted nap or night of sleep, back rubs, putting your hand on my waist while we talk, sitting in bed and reading with me, telling me that you see me in my mess and that you love me, buying me Reese cups or ice cream, or offering to clean the kitchen after picking up take out.
I hear this exhausted season won’t last forever. See you on the other side.