This week I’ve been in the hospital for another procedure. A minor one, one of the things we keep trying in order to postpone the inevitable “major” one. I’ve been in and out of the hospital so much over the past twenty years that it really doesn’t phase me anymore. Hospitals don’t scare me, heck in my first career I used to work in them for a living. I’m no longer concerned about my modesty, about the parade of strangers that will see all my lady parts. Because really I bet they’ve seen worse. I do still look away when they stick me with needles though. Most times it doesn’t even really hurt, it’s just that I don’t want to see it. Looking away takes away that moment when I might wince in anticipation of the stick.
But this time another thought went through my head as I prepared to spend the day in the hospital. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “I can’t wait to get a good rest.” What has happened in my life that has me actually looking forward to going to the hospital because I’ll get some sleep? Parenting, that’s what. Parenting is exhausting. I think at the hospital I will have time to myself, time to sleep at will, and people will wait on me.
And I was right and it was good. That glorious sleep medicine was ice-cold when it started coursing through my veins but in a couple of seconds I really didn’t care anymore. Heck, in a couple of seconds I didn’t even know I existed anymore. And some time later, I don’t have any concept of how long, I woke up to a nurse saying “Hello” and asking me how I felt. “I feel good,” I said. Now let me go back to sleep.
This bed they’ve got me in is amazingly comfortable and warm. Are the blankets heated? Maybe. Later the nurse comes in and remarks on how quiet I’ve been. That’s because I’ve lain here snuggled into to these warm cozy blankets soaking in the quiet and the stillness and the deep uninterrupted sleep.
And although I’m fine, I debate pretending I’m not just so I can hide out here in the solitude a little bit longer. But I can’t. Parenting calls.