When I was having babies, my bed was a place of refuge. The rest of my life was so cluttered with tiny people, their stuff and their needs that my bed was a much-needed sanctuary. It was a place to renew myself, to recharge my introverted body and to take a break from my chaotic existence.
Being a very light sleeper, co-sleeping never appealed to me. Any little movement my babies made woke me up. Besides, a friend-of-a-friend lost her baby in a tragic co-sleeping accident and all of us who knew her were traumatized to our very core. So, my kids slept in their own rooms from day one.
I worked hard to keep my bed from being taken over by little people. Sure, that meant spending time in my kids’ rooms rubbing their backs to encourage sleep or soothing them when nightmares came. To me, those times out of my own bed were worth it. Once they fell back to sleep I could return to my sanctuary and enjoy a bit of uninterrupted sleep.
That has all changed now that I’m a Nana. My bed is Grand Central Station. It’s a gathering place, a meeting area and at times it resembles a jigsaw puzzle with bodies of all sizes crammed together to fit on the bed.
It began when vertigo and illness forced me into bed for long periods of time. I often had to miss parties in my own home while I stayed in bed. My sensitive kids never left me alone for long and when one of them came to visit, the others inevitably followed until my bed was packed full of three generations of people. Their kindness (plus, all the alone time I do get now) has allowed me to change the “bed rules”.
I now cuddle babies in my bed while they nap and I let rambunctious boys jump with wild abandon. My granddaughter retreats to Nana’s bed to play games and sort through my jewelry box. It’s become a place to watch cartoons and for soul-to-soul talks. The blanket wrinkles have become roads for toy cars and my adult kids hold epic flying-leap competitions onto my bed.
I’m in a different phase of life now and I don’t need to protect my bed as a place of refuge anymore. Instead, I’ve opened the door and welcomed everyone in.
As I looked through my photos to find pictures for this blog, I found a surprising number of pictures of my bed being used for everything BUT sleep. Instead, life happens here now. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Read more of Ann’s contributions to allmomdoes here.