I Should Be Sleeping

I had trouble falling asleep. Too many things on my mind. Too many concerns about the coming days. Most of the time I can push them aside long enough to grab a little shut eye. This time it was tougher. I rolled around for a while, got up, did a few sets of push ups and then lay down long enough to pass out.

That was a little after 1 am. Around 4 am I woke up. Daughter was crying. Went to her bedroom and discovered that the monsters had encircled her bed. Dad is the dragon killer. Beat up all of the monsters and found out that no matter how many times I punched them in the nose they kept coming back.

Took daughter in my arms and walked for a bit. With her head on my shoulder I wandered through the dark house and wondered when she stopped being the baby. It was a while ago. She is a little girl now. A little girl with long dark curls and serious eyes that explore the world. Gentle snoring told me that I must have finally beaten back the hordes so I carried her back to her bedroom.

For a moment I held her and listened to her breathing. It was peaceful, relaxing. It reminds me of who I am and what purpose I serve. Not the only purpose, but one that transcends myself.

There in the dark I whispered I love you and placed her in back in her bed. Standing above her bed I looked around to be certain that the monsters really were gone. Fathers are always on alert. If need be I'd become a one man wrecking crew.

Tried to go back to sleep and just couldn't find my way home. It is going to hurt later on. I can't live off so little sleep. Not anymore. Too many weeks of haunting the midnight hours is going to catch up with me. The vampires of the neighborhood recognize me. They have seen me go traipsing by too many times not to. They leave me alone, recognize that I am not in the mood for conversation.

So here I sit in the darkened room, the computer monitor serving as the sole illumination within the room. Alone in the dark with my thoughts. Here I sit pondering the next steps and best ways to go about my business. I feel alive, but wish that I was asleep. I am babbling, rambling away at the keyboard.

It is hot inside this house. I am sweaty. I am grumpy and I am still wondering whether I should go sit out in the cool night air and await the sun. A cup of coffee, an iPod and some moonlight beckon. Flashes of memory remind me of things that have been and hint at possibilities of what could be.

It is Elul. The new year approaches. Who will live and who will die. What waits for me on the other side. I feel its presence. It leaves me....wondering.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great post. A father is always on guard, you are so right. Sounds like a fine motto to live by.

Your family is very lucky.

AmPowerBlog said...

That's a great post. I hope you're able to get some sleep, and I wish your daughter well.

Burkean Reflections

Anonymous said...

Hope sleep is not so elusive tonight, Jack - but the post was beautiful...

FlutePrayer said...

Are you a musician? You keep my favorite hours!

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Debbie,

There is no more important job for a father than to watch out for his family.

Donald,

Thank you. Fortunately my daughter decided to get some sleep last night so I feel more rested today. Had some good friends who went to CSLB.

Richmond,

Thank you.

FP,

Not a musician, just a night owl.

marallyn ben moshe said...

ahhhhhhhhh jack...being a daddy is almost as delicious as being a bubbie...i know that feeling of a sleeping child on your shoulder...and the ache when you put her back to sleep...bravo abba...bravo...as for the coming year my friend...i believe that what you put out is what comes back...so i am putting out a marvellous wonderful delicious healthy terrific year for you...oh and a little splash of mazal too...how's that?

Anonymous said...

And last night I woke up at 3:00 am and couldn't get back to sleep worrying about my oldest kid (who is 18!) It never ends..... Nice post Jack.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks for visiting my page, Jack!

Jack Steiner said...

so i am putting out a marvellous wonderful delicious healthy terrific year for you...oh and a little splash of mazal too...how's that?

I'll take it and send some back your direction. :)

WBM,

Welcome back.

DD,

My pleasure.

torontopearl said...

"I wandered through the dark house and wondered when she stopped being the baby. It was a while ago. She is a little girl now. A little girl with long dark curls and serious eyes that explore the world."

Jack, I'm sure your daughter is as lovely as you portray her. What a beautiful image: "serious eyes that explore the world."

May you and your family have a very blessed New Year in every way.

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Pearl,

Shana Tova to you and yours.

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

I too loved that description.

When my daughter was really litte, and we just couldn't comfort her against the monsters, I took all her stuff animals and I surrounded them around the entrance of her bedroom door, so they could help keep guard. It seemed to work.

Jack Steiner said...

That is a good idea.

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