A while back I read Dreamland by David Randall, and learned all kinds of tidbits about sleep. There was a whole chapter on insomnia, another on the relationship between sleep and aha! moments, another on apnea and sleep disorders. Apparently the research shows that the number one factor in how many fights a couple has is how much sleep the wife got the night before. And the number one cause of friendly fire in battle is sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep affects our judgment in significant ways. But apparently the professors at Eldest's prestigious institution haven't read up on this particular body of research.
There's not much a mom can do to make life easier for her stressed-out offspring from a distance of several hundred miles. I've been thinking of her for days, knowing... well, knowing that I don't know how she's doing, and praying for the best.
* * * *
Not-knowing is a maddening thing. Then again, there's a lot less uncertainty in life these days than there used to be. When people left Europe to immigrate to America, the family they left behind didn't know for months, perhaps years, what became of them. If someone headed west to the prairies, there was no way of knowing how they fared. Goodbyes in those days were truly goodbyes; you didn't know if you'd ever see that person again.
Last week I went somewhere with Snuggler and Little Guy, and forgot my phone. Snuggler wailed, "But what will we do if..." I looked at her kind of oddly, realizing that being a digital and cellular native has its drawbacks. "We'll do what we would have done 15 years ago," I replied, "We'll figure it out. If we need to."
* * * *
Dancer called this morning at 7:50; her express bus broke down on the highway, leaving the passengers stranded on the desolate fringe of East Harlem. I told her that as long as she stayed with the other passengers while walking to whatever other bus route was nearby, she'd be safe. It was inconvenient and scary, and she was likely to be late for school, but hey -- she was safe.
Dancer was already walking with other people. In truth, she would have been okay even if she hadn't been able to call me. She's resourceful and sensible, and I think being in this kind of situation is how one becomes resourceful and sensible. Travel is one of the very best tools there is for learning how to come up with a Plan B. Buses and trains break down, get delayed, cause missed connections. It's nice to be able to call Mom, but after you've gone through that kind of thing a few times you stop calling and just figure out how to handle the situation. You realize you can deal with that level of uncertainty.