Rare is the bliss of an afternoon nap.
Sunday naps are best of course. Something about the day of rest makes a nap worshipful almost. Sunday naps are a family tradition we’ve carried on. Everyone sleeps on Sunday. These are deep, soul-restoring slumbers.
But an afternoon doze is glorious no matter when.
During the week, I get drowsy while reading to the kids. So some days we take naps altogether. The kids grab their blankets and pillows, then rush to claim their favorite spots in the family room. I lay on the couch and read aloud until I’m too sleepy to continue. Then I drift off for a 20 minutes or so, while they lay quietly resting or reading, but definitely not waking up mommy! Within an hour, we’re up and at it again.
And then there’s naps like the one I took today. Laying on a blanket in the front yard, warmed by the sun and cooled by the spring breeze. Naps like these are unexpected gifts, when an unscheduled afternoon leaves open the possibility of quiet rest. As I laid down, my seven-year-old Mary came and snuggled up next to me. We drifted off together.
Random noises caused me to stir – front door creaks, neighbor child calling, art box snapping, airplane buzzing — but slumber came easily once again. I lost track of time. I have no idea how long we laid there.
When we woke, Mary asked me to tell her a story. I told her about a family camping trip we took when my mother was pregnant with her last baby, my sister Deborah, who is herself now pregnant with her first child. “So that’s why you told me that story,” said Mary, triumphantly connecting the past to the present.
Maybe that’s why I love naps, too.
A little while later, my baby sister naps with her own baby. And the family tradition continues…