It is 1:00 a.m. as I sit here and write.
One o'clock in the morning and I am still awake. Normally, this is the time I may (or may not) start tossing and turning and waking up, after falling asleep anywhere in between 7 to 9 p.m.
Tonight, I am wide awake. I feel like I may have been asleep for at least a year. Probably much longer.
I made a conscious choice to stay home to be "present" for my sixteen year old son this weekend. Even when I am physically home, I am often so far away.
I have been lost in this, that or the other project. I have had tunnel vision as I go around fulfilling my responsibilities. I am tuned into the TV, the Internet and other wireless connections far too much. I have tried to be a good friend, daughter, sister and niece. As I sit here thinking of that, I can picture the times when my son has wanted to talk with me but I have been on the phone...
I have been a bit of a gadabout recently. It started small and it revved up into something bigger.
My son and I used to always have little chats about nothing or everything or just some easy going cat chat every night before he went to sleep. Then came the age where he stayed up longer than I did so I retreated and assumed he was too busy to talk so I just said a quick good-night.
Bit by bit, month by month, year by year we started drifting apart.
"This is natural" I told myself. He is a young man and he is pulling away. This is right and this is good.
Was he pulling away or was I becoming less available?
Recent events made me decide to pull the plug on the idea of running out to my mom's this long weekend.
It started because I was afraid my son would not cajole and convince Senior Cat to eat while I was gone. Our cat is wasting away in front of my eyes but I can convince him to eat about a tablespoon of his special soft renal cat food twice a day. Our senior cat has been failing lately and I was willing to take the blame. I had been away too much.
Then I realized that it wasn't just our cat who wasn't eating while I was away. I did my best to leave a few good, healthy ready-to-heat-up meals for my son, but when I would call at night to say good night he had often forgotten to eat.
Something pulled me back from leaving home this weekend. Even though my son acts like he doesn't need me around, I think he does.
Sometimes breathing the same air, in the same room is enough. But lately I felt like we needed to breathe some conversation into the room as well.
We still chat. He seems to feel free to tell me what is on his mind. Often there is really nothing I can do or say but he has assured me that he doesn't expect me to fix anything. Sometimes he just needs to vent.
Today was a good day.
The TV stayed off. All day. I had the radio on and I puttered away at long neglected tasks. I asked my son if he was willing to try and boost a dead car battery. He said he knew nothing about this so we figured out how to do it together. The car battery is still dead, but it was a good "bonding" activity.
He helped me assemble a bench that I bought. We drifted in and around and through the day. Together.
I wasn't running off to work or working on anything important. The phone was quiet and we just walked through the day. Together.
I tossed out the idea of going out to see a show. "Why not two shows??" I asked. Wouldn't it be fun to stay for a double feature?
Me, the girl who can not stay awake past 8:00 if I am sitting still, actually went to see two movies that started after supper!
And I stayed awake. For both of them.
Granted, I caffeinated myself with two extra cups of coffee in the afternoon in the hope it would help me through the night. But I feel so awake, I think it has less to do with the caffeine and more to do with feeling a heightened wakefulness as I lived the day.
It felt incredible not to feel pulled in so many different directions. Often when I have a day to myself, it is just that. One day. So I grab it close to myself and keep myself isolated from the world and I don't want to interact with anyone.
This weekend, I have three full days off. Off of everything. I didn't feel the need to hoard today and keep it to myself.
Sharing it with my son was exactly what and who I needed to keep me awake.
It has been a most incredible day. I turned off the television and tuned into my own life.
It is a good life. I think I will try to remain wakeful enough to enjoy it to its fullest.
And now? I am exhausted. Good night....