The Bed April 25 2013


Throughout my life there has always been one constant…the solace and comfort of the bed.  The posturepedic mattress adorned temple to all things good.  I’d never really given that much thought to the importance and comfort of it until last night.

Thinking back on it through the years, the haven to sweet dreams has provided me some of life’s best moments.  One naturally pulls to mind the marriage bed and all the activities and comforts it provides.  After all, that is generally where babies come from.  But in my ‘bed’ recollections I have found so many more.  

When I was a small child, our house was burglarized and those bastards tore up every room.  I vividly remember walking in and seeing my bed destroyed and my mattress flipped.  Even at that young age, I remember having a sense of loss over my sacred space.   The private hiding spot under the bed had been destroyed and made accessible to all. 

I had high risk pregnancies with all of my babies.  Because of that, I spent months on strict bed rest.  Perhaps that is when my love affair with a good bed really set in.  I discovered the value of memory foam toppers and high thread count sheets.  When a bed becomes your home, you get creative in its use.  Imagine the crumbly mess of sleeping where you eat.  To keep my mind sane, I volunteered to assist teachers at the local elementary school and prepared craft projects for them. Let’s just say that a hot glue gun was not made to be experienced in the bed.  Let’s also say that a bedpan is a cold, cruel joke but a much needed invention in my 54” x 75” world.

Once my babies came to be, the bed took on a whole new persona.  Often my nights consisted of a traveling bed, as I would pick up and move to the nursery floor to lessen the distance of night time travel.  Eventually, I put mattresses in the baby rooms and pulled those sweet cherubs into bed with me and found much more relaxing slivers of sleep for all involved.  Baby bonding is the best.  The curvature of a new mother’s body is perfectly made to accommodate the scrumptious, wrinkled folds of a new baby.

One can’t ponder the virtues of a bed, without lamenting on sleep.  I am not a sleeper.  Although it has been something that I would love to add to my repertoire, I have never found myself able to sleep for hours on end and not awake through the night.  Some of my best thinking gets done in the middle of the night.  Something about the peaceful stillness and joy of knowing all other occupants are safely tucked in, allows my mind to fully relax and process the day.  When I hear friends talk about how fresh and rejuvenated they feel, I get sleep envy and wish I could know that experience just once in my life.

And then there was last night.  My boy is away at camp.  I have no way of communicating with him for 4 days.  That distance has never separated us before now.  I know he is doing campy things and enjoying his 11 year old independence, but that knowledge doesn’t take away the pit in my stomach of not having him near and safe with me.  After putting my other sweet cherubs safely in their beds, I went into his room and lay on his bed.  The same bed that I laid in for 7 months when I was pregnant with him.  I thought about his journey, my journey, our journey.  It started in that bed.  In that bed, I watched 9/11 unfold on T.V., had pedicure parties with my husband as he painted my piggies to pass the time and fought off months of contractions and pre-term labor to finally bring a joyful noise into the world.  Last night in that bed, I hugged tight a pillow that had a little boy smell to it.  I pulled on a thread bare and tattered blankie that had many miles of little boy wrangling to it.  The comfort of that bed was like that of a hug from an old friend.  Enough to make blissful sleep come over me if only for a few hours. 

And then I awoke… and begin searching for mattress ratings online, as 11 years is a long time for a mattress and we need to get a new one.