I am living in a house with a six week old baby, which means not only am I deliriously in love with a new little person, I am also seriously sleep deprived. Alec wakes up several times per night, and each time I get up out of bed, walk into his room, walk him down the hall into our living room, sit on the couch and nurse him. Both girls slept in our bed with us at one point or another and we are trying to avoid this happening again. While this plan is working fabulously at keeping him out of our bed and being used sleeping with other humans, it is killing me slowly, because it takes me about an hour to feed him and get him to sleep soundly enough to be transferred back into his crib. And usually I fall asleep on the couch, which totally defeats the whole purpose, because at that point he is essentially sleeping with me.
So I wake up, an hour or so later, put him in his crib, climb back into my incredibly comfortable, warm, cozy bed and do you know what happens? About 3 minutes later he wakes up and starts crying. Because he's hungry. And I have to get up and start all over again.
And I am literally sick to my stomach because I just want to sleep so badly.
It is so bad that the other day, when I was in Walmart, I passed the pharmacy section and looked LONGINGLY at the bottles of NyQuil. You know that hard, solid sleep you have after downing a good-sized dose of NyQuil?? I haven't slept like that since 2001.
So this sleep deprivation, while tolerable, makes my brain a little, you know, crazy. (Just to interject: you realize that sleep deprivation is used by the military as a form of TORTURE, right?) My head is currently filled with all sorts of ideas about Thanksgiving, and the holidays, and special food, and hearth and home, and Pilgrims, and harvest, and feeling grateful. So I am sitting in church a few weeks ago, singing How Great Thou Art, really singing my little sleep- deprived heart out, and I have this vision. Not a flashback exactly, and not a daydream but this very clear picture of me in a somewhat primitive little church, singing my heart out and surrounded by tons of my own children. And I am a pilgrim.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Dan and the kids and I are all in the car, heading downstate to meet our new twin nieces for the first time. I am a "car thinker", which means I can sit in a car for hours and something about the rhythm of the tires somewhat hypnotizes me and my brain can just wander. And wander, and wander, until 15 minutes later, I generally ask Dan a fantastically random question, like, "Where are JuJu and Uncle Dick's neighbors originally from?" out of the clear blue and Dan laughs and shakes his head and says, "What on EARTH makes you think about that?" We used to play a game that I would try to re-trace the string of loosely connected thoughts that got me to my random blurted out question and that was always fun.
Then we started having children and all I wanted to talk about in the car was having more children. "If we had a baby today, what would you name it?" was Dan most dreaded car- thinking game, and that poor man endured about 7 YEARS of this game.
But now we are done having kids and that game is pretty much over.
So we are just leaving Columbia County yesterday in the car when I blurt out, "Do you believe in reincarnation?"
"What?" sputters Dan.
"You know, reincarnation... do you ever have the sense that you've lived another life? In a different time, maybe? Do you ever feel drawn to a certain time in history, like you've lived through it already?"
"Because I had this vision the other day in church, and I think that I may have been a pilgrim in New England in a previous life."
Now he starts really laughing at me. "Like you came over on the Mayflower?"
"No, I definitely didn't come over on the Mayflower... I have no recollection of that kind of horrible voyage. Maybe I was born here, like the second generation of Pilgrims."
"But doesn't it kind of make sense?" I ask. " The whole Pilgrim obsession, my Thanksgiving fetish, my bizarre interest in farming, my love for the ocean and the Cape and New England. I think I was a pilgrim, with tons of kids and I was really religious."
"You have tons of kids now." Dan says, laughing.
"I have three kids... that's hardly TONS. But I'm serious... I think it's a possibility."
"Hey, sure. Whatever you think, friend."
I really don't know. I know I had this vision, this strong connection with that time and place. And I was happy, but tired... sort of like now, with my TONS of children. Or maybe it's just my sleep deprived brain playing tricks on me.