It just doesn’t happen.
When Heather and I were first married we enjoyed the bliss of uninterrupted sleep and intimacy. Anytime, anywhere, whether we wanted to get some or just get some sleep, we could do it on our own terms and at our leisure.
Then a head crowned.
And since then, I can count the number of times we’ve enjoyed an entire night all to ourselves alone in the same bed on one hand.
Even if that hand was missing four fingers.
We’ve never lived close enough to our respective parents to request a reprieve and there’s no one we know whom we’d subject to an entire overnight experience with our children. Like Alcatraz, there’s no escape.
Where most parental units get to at least sleep alone in their own beds at night, we haven’t enjoyed that luxury since Kamryn learned to walk.
Some kids can’t sleep unless they’re accompanied by their favorite blanket. Others need to be snuggled in with their favorite stuffed animal. For our daughter Kamryn, she’s unable to fall asleep unless she has a knee wedged in someone’s spine. And that someone is usually me.
Heather wised up long ago and now often goes to bed with a levee of pillows erected between us. A plush mountain that I refer to as the Greg Barrier Reef. I’ll say goodnight and she’ll extend a wave with an outstretched hand that barely crests the Great Wall of Cotton.
A few hours after we settle Kamryn into her bed, we’ll hear the pitter-patter of approaching feet as she rumbles down the hallway. She’ll climb into our bed and nestle comfortably between myself and Heather’s pillowed embankment.
I don’t mind the nightly visitor as it comforts me to know that she’s comforted. What I do mind is how Kamryn kicks and thrashes in her sleep as though she’s dreaming about cage fighting.
We fall asleep as three parallel I’s. We wake up as one capital H. While Kamryn always enjoys a fully-stretched night of sleep, Heather and I find ourselves pushed, shoved, and eventually confined to a six-inch swath of mattress by sunrise.
The result is a daily soreness blended with constant yawning as we daydream about someday enjoying a full night’s sleep. Or at least a somewhat full night alone so we can recoup some deprived sezzy time. (Note that I said deprived. Not depraved. There’s a really big difference.)
Today, I’m happy to report that this night finally approaches. For next Saturday, our dream comes true.
Thanks to a freebie Hilton Guest Stay Certificate that we received after a dismal experience at one of their hotels, we’re going away together (just the two of us) for the first time in years. Heather’s dad will be making the drive to stay with the kiddos overnight and we’re going to head to Niagara Falls for some long overdue alone time.
I already have the entire night planned out.
We’ll pull into town and take a quick look at one of the most glorious natural wonders in the world. From there we’ll hastily check into our room, lead each other to the bed, and take a nap.
I’ll then draw Heather a warm bath in the Jacuzzi tub where she’ll enjoy a relaxing soak that doesn’t include colored fizzy bathwater. She’ll also be surrounded by flowers and a view of the Falls from above rather than walls decorated with Crayola Bathtub Crayons.
Once she’s nice and relaxed, I’ll take her by the hand and escort her to freshly-drawn sheets.
Where we’ll take a nap.
Fully rested, we’ll head out to a nice romantic dinner, drink some wine to lower inhibitions and help put us in the mood, and then return to the hotel. Knowing how much my wife loves chocolate, I’ll seductively touch her lips with some Ghirardelli and whisper “I love you” before taking our nap.
We’ll wake up, get ready for bed, and dress in our most alluring attire (which for me is a baggy pair of grandma-jammies and a t-shirt that reads, “This is what awesome looks like”). We’ll slip under the covers, and for the first time in years, I’ll be able to look my wife in the eyes as she rejects me.
Then we’ll take a nap.
When we awake in the morning after going the entire night without spine encroachment, water requests, or monster searches, we’ll order breakfast to our room, enjoy the view as we eat, and slip the “Do Not Disturb” placard on the door.
And that’s when the moment will happen. After months of longing for it, we’ll finally take a nap before noon.
One minute before checkout we’ll head to the lobby, meet the valet at our vehicle, and make the 3-hour drive home.
As we walk through the front door, still basking in the afterglow of Nap-a-Palooza, we’ll embrace our children, say our hello’s, and immediately start counting down the years to our next escape.
Like a child anticipating Christmas, I can’t wait for this.
Next Saturday can’t come fast enough.