I’ve never been one for lying awake thinking about all the things that could, should or would go wrong in the upcoming days, weeks or years. After completing my routine chores of making beds, getting breakfast and lunch, meeting my husband’s computer needs, cooking dinner and cleaning up, and finally, riding my bike and doing some writing, I don’t tend to suffer from insomnia.

There used to be so much to keep me up at night. Long gone are the worries and anxieties of where our son was, or why hadn’t he answered his cell phone? It was, after all, 10:00 at night? And okay, yes, he was a senior in college, but still, you worry. No, those days are gone, thankfully. Only to be replaced a few years later by his move to Denver and his penchant for night skiing, involving driving from Denver into the mountaintop ski resorts after work and driving back home late. This proving what every parent knows; you never stop worrying about your child no matter what his or her age. I still worry but the pandemic, getting our shots and the political and moral state of our country has replaced some of those. But even they don’t keep me up at night.

What does keep me up at night is my husband – but not in the way I know you’re thinking. My husband is a night owl. He climbs into bed an hour or two after I’ve gone to sleep. He’s neither silent nor careful about waking me. He’ll lie there a minute or two, then roll over to ask me, “Are you asleep?”

Well, yes, I was until you woke me up. At this point, I’m a bit cranky and I ignore him. But that does not deter him. Oh no. Mistaking my silence for encouragement, he proceeds to go over, in miniscule detail, all the things that keep HIM up at night. By the time he has unloaded his litany of woes and worries onto me, he’s fallen asleep.

I now lie there, wide awake, worrying about his worries…which are usually worse than my own. Having given up on the sheep, I reach for my book.

One thought on “Wide Wake at 3:00 A.M. by Linda Freedland

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