There are a lot of contenders for the title of greatest human achievement: Penicillin, landing on the moon, conquering Mount Everest, and I'm sure at least a few others have happened in the last 200,000 years (or 6,000 for you Young Earth Creationists). My pick, however, is the common couch.
A good couch is inviting, it fosters the gathering of friends and family, and tells us at the end of a weary day that we are finally home. It embraces us like an old friend or a loving grandmother. It's where we spend our sick days and where we slowly edge closer to a new paramour until she pulls your arm around her right in front of her brother that you just met. A couch gives soft reply to our age old questions of life, love and the mysteries of the universe.
All of the couches I've had in the past were hand-me-downs and they were fine enough but the couch we have now is the first one Sara and I bought for ourselves. It's nothing fancy, just a midnight blue over plush cushions, but this couch -- let's call it 'Bruce' because at this point its a member of the family -- is perfect for naps.
After the busy weekends of the past month all I really wanted out of this one was Bruce, one of the cats and an afternoon nap. Of course, if that had happened I wouldn't be writing about it now. Between work, family and prepping for Christmas and New Year's I was ready for a series of naps, like the semi-finals of snoozing. But there was one event left to tackle.
The Baby Shower.
Our families threw Sara the shower of her dreams. I know that because we followed her list to the letter. It was grueling, exhausting and worth it all to see her so happy. So as this weekend approached, a new weekend free of obligation, I purposely kept my schedule as clear as possible. The onslaught of "to-do" had abated and, like Aladdin finding the lamp in the Cave of Wonders, my nap awaited me. But then a friend needed help moving on Saturday and Sunday afternoon found me covering for a sick coworker. My nap was sadly left behind like a kid sitting in the school office wondering if his mom forgot to pick him up again.
Lately, anytime I mention being tired or needing a nap I am inevitably met with some variation of Just you wait or You'll know what tired really is soon. Thank you strange lady in Target, I'm aware. Just let me have this for a little bit longer.
In the sudden busyness of the weekend I spent some time with a man who is going to great lengths to care for his son. He fights for his well-being every day and has lost nearly everything along the way. I listened to his tale with a sense of awe and profound respect. I doubt he can even remember the last time he had a nap.
The weeks until Peter arrives are winding down. Sara and I are going to her 32 week Ultrasound this afternoon and I'll get to see again this person that I would sacrifice naps for. It's not an unexpected feeling but it is a new one. What wouldn't I give for him? The more I think about it, the more I think about my son, the more I sense the cynic in me taking a back seat. The road ahead looks suddenly different than it ever has before.
I know I've got long nights ahead of me and my days of leisurely naps with Bruce will be fewer but, the truth is, I can't wait. If Peter's anything like me, though, he'll be on board with a good nap and something tells me a nap with my kid my just be the best one yet.