The Honor of Being Slept On

man laying on bed beside dog

I woke up yesterday, was wide awake. I had ideas that needed to get out, creative energy asking for daylight.

But my arm was under my wife. I gave a slow pull but she didn’t respond. She was out.

So I laid there.

For an hour.

I thought about things, worked some stuff out. She slept. It was good.

My daughters sleep on me too, during movies usually.

It’s the ultimate trust, like a dog showing you its belly.

So, I rarely move. It’s always been this way.

In my late teens, coming back from camping, a girl fell asleep in my lap. I was so proud. I just sat there, pins and needles, thinking about what was to come after she opened her eyes.

And another girlfriend who had demons, who would only face away while sleeping on my arm. She would eventually curl in. Another proud moment.

And me, at 22ish, reconciling with my dad after the divorce. Me, a supposed grown-ass man with a degree, loose from scotch and forgiveness. I dropped my head on my patient dad’s shoulder, closed my eyes, and gave way completely to being his son.

(I haven’t asked but I’m sure he didn’t mind not moving the rest of the night.)

There are always more things to do, good, rational reasons to get up and get going.

But the act of staying put, remaining under and around another, listening to someone else’s breaths against our own while the world does its thing – that’s what we forget to do most often.