Kate's only complaint, when staying in a hotel room, is sharing a bed with her sister. I sympathize; having been Mary's first accommodations, carrying her for nine months, I too have suffered from the incessant kicks and blows of a slumbering Mary. It's not uncommon to find her in the morning, feet on the pillow, snoozing peacefully, having completely flipped during the night. Years ago, in Dallas, I woke up to find her right foot under my chin, her left foot across my mid section. Frequently she sits up, appears to look around, and flops down, head first, in whatever direction she is facing. Pray that she has not turned to face you in this moment of alertness. She is a lovely and kind child but a wild and reckless sleeper; no one wants to bunk next to that.
And yet there I was, the night before Thanksgiving, in a beautiful downtown Chicago hotel room, wide awake while Wild Mary thrashed next to me. In the next bed lay Kate and her father, peacefully sleeping, completely unaware of the scene being played out in our lovely and very dark room.
By this time the street outside had quieted, the sounds of the city taking a break before the big day. But in our room the music was just beginning: from Kate, whose 11:00 pm nosebleed had landed me in the bed with the Wild One, a deep and loud breathing, forced from the earlier nasal incident, all from her wide open mouth, breaths more like exhausted sighs. And in the horn section, her father and his rhythmic snoring, accompanying Kate's breathing as if they had been playing together for years. Next to me lay the conductor, orchestrating this great movement with madly waving arms and legs, a rhythmic feast for the senses, assuming those in the first row were wearing protective gear.
Two days later I was home in our kitchen, cooking our second, but first at home, Thanksgiving meal, when I realized that I was singing along with Snow Patrol, "This is All I Ever Wanted From Life". Having just celebrated the day when I am told to count my blessings, it occurred to me that perhaps this was it: awake in a stuffy yet well appointed hotel room at 2:00 am, listening to the symphony of my family, with Mary's foot in my ear; was this all I ever wanted from life?
You know I believe that yes it is, that and a little bit of sleep thrown in here and there.