Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10 pm then and 10 pm now

 I have always thought of myself as a nocturnal person.  As a young child I remember pushing my mother with weepy eyes and pleading to extend my bedtime because I was "not tired" but of course I was because the next morning there was also "5 more minutes please" discussions.  I did not see the beauty of morning, of early wake ups and as I got older if I wanted to see a sunrise well then I took as that wanting to stay up all night to see it before like all good vampires slinking into my bed for a good daytime sleep.

That was then - then when 10 o'clock was a curfew to come to home but not a bedtime.  Then when 10 pm became the time to get ready or start going out to places that did not become lively before midnight.  Back then; when 10 am was something not to be seen on many a weekend as I slept through them.  I remember going to Amsterdam as a teenager and the thing I loved the most (that I will share in a public space) is the night life - the weird daytime lull that change to a night lit up (to light up) and more lively than many cities where at any time.  I loved Spain for it's mid-day siesta and it's late night suppers and even later night dancing.  

That magic hour of 10 pm did not become more than a passing thought even as I reached my thirties.  I still went to bed around midnight only now that pesky little thing called a job that actually required brain power and my attention did ingrain a need in me to wake up earlier - snooze buttons were worn down.  I was still not a morning person.  However, I am not a grumpy person, one may even say am a slightly up beat hyper person (ok not may say have said sometimes with love and sometimes without).  I do relish quiet in the morning.  I loved living by myself and turning on the news, doing my routine without ever having to say a word.  I do not want to discuss much before 8 am and even then kept it to "yes alternate side of the street parking is in effect today" topics.  

That was 10 pm then.  Then when it was a beginning to go to places first on weekends, then starting the Wed- Sunday weekends to vacations every night adventures that meant 10 pm was for awake time.  That was when the ozone was destroyed in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and various other places by excessive Aqua Net sprays to keep hair well into the night at sizes that required own zip codes.  The 10 pm of eyeliner and little skirts.  The 10 am of jobs where you got that weird chill that your body sent you, sometimes with some slight stomach queasiness, because you had not slept since ohh say all night.  Those are memories that are all good for me - even the "at the time not so good but now good for a laugh" times. 

Then I had a child and this mysterious 10 pm became a whole different hour.  It became the time when he was a baby where I had a few minutes to try and watch tv while I slowly drifted off by 11 as I had to wake up several times during the night for feedings, cryings, singing of 80s songs as lullabies (subconcious was what I remembered about the middle of the night). My son slept like a baby to Oh L'Amour and a host of pop and new wave music (see at the 10 pm where I first heard it was not yet called alternative music).

As first child finally, somewhat (ok he slept with us but he slept so stop judging and yes he moved to his own bed .. at first to make room for the brother that took over and then because they both moved to their own beds) slept and so we were lulled into having a 2nd child - because we forgot that we would not have been up at 10 pm thinking or talking 2nd child if 1st child was still having his way.  The 2nd child slept better but still woke up here and there.  I started to have to wake up earlier and make schedules for the nanny, get outfits ready do laundry that since their birth seems to grow at alarming rates regardless of how often I do it.  I would look longingly at the clock hoping that it was slightly past 10 pm closer to 11 so that I could feel ok to go to sleep and not see myself for the older person, 'cause they do this, that fell asleep before 11. I mean once you start sleeping before 11 pm is the early bird special far behind? ???

These days I am past that - I set the dvr for those 10 pm shows I want to watch because even if I make it to I won't make it through them.  I am up 530 am to enjoy that quiet time in the morning, without questions asked of me and questions I need to ask of them.  I am enjoying a morning cup of coffee after a Facebook check in without anyone standing over me asking when they can have a turn on the laptop and listen to some music to start my day.  That has not changed, it may be earlier but it has remained what I enjoy doing since I can remember, starting the morning with music.  That 10 pm hour is a vastly different hour again with my own children trying to push past it on weekends, without little skirts and too much eyeliner, and with me looking with affection at the bed as I know I often am out by that hour or close to it.  I have entered the time when I wake up in the middle of the night, and wander around, annoyed that I am not asleep unlike my youth when I would have been planning my next stop.  

That 10 pm hour is a good marker for me for all the fun times I have had and for the great moments I need to be rested for as my sons grow up.  I remember when I was a kid there was a public service announcement that said "it's 10 pm do you know where your children are?" -- yes I do and  that no longer seems like a crazy question. 

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