There is a point in the night when it turns into the early hours of morning. That point, I think, differs dependant on the person and the reason for being awake.
There’s the getting up early to make an appointment or, much much better, to set off on a journey. I remember as a child waking at 4.30 am to eat breakfast in an excited rush, get washed and dressed and out of the house by 5.30 to make the roughly one hour trip to Larne to get the early morning ferry to Scotland to spend the week visiting my father’s niece and her family. There was never any problems getting up those mornings, who didn’t want to be going on holiday?
Years later and with an unsettled child over my shoulder, those early hours had a different feel. 1.30, 2.30, 3.30 am, the time crawling forward in infinitely slow motion steps, laden with the threat that morning and release from the nighttime horror would ever end. The crying would be worse acting as it did as a demanding drill sergeant determined to keep me from bed.
How very different from 1.30, 2.30, 3.30 am when you are out and about with friends, or one person. Those hours, those nights you want to remain nighttime forever and the day to remain at bay.
Last night the house stayed alive into the wee hours.
14 was at respite, Hub and I had attempted to do a little shopping, perhaps even stop off at a nice little café, have a coffee together like grown up, civilised people, a day date, if you will. A plan scuppered due to the onset of a downpour combined with every establishment closed due to it being a Bank Holiday. All the other kids were home, for once there was no other outing, not even to see a film. Evening came, then bedtime, the living room emptied, all quite normal. Then the footsteps could be heard, first from one room, then another.
I lay in bed unable to sleep. The house felt stifling, I was thirsty. As I came down the first half flight of stairs someone was coming up the other set. We managed to not pass each other.
I sat in the living room after having a drink and felt for the first time in the day entirely me. This is the feeling of the night hours. Whether as a child or in the 22 years I have been a parent those hours of the night when I am not on parent duty, when I am not needed by anyone for anything, are entirely mine and I am entirely me. The time seems to stretch out longer than it would during the day. It is a hint of infinity. A chance to sit and read, or think, have a cup of tea or whatever I want, no one else need be involved, no one else is involved.
Tonight’s totally unconnected images.
All images © L. McG.-E. All rights reserved.
© 2012, Penbleth / L. McG.-E.. All rights reserved.