When 9:00 p.m. approaches, I am blissfully aware of the “me time” ahead. Yes, being a new parent is wonderful, all-consuming and wonderful. But after a full day of diapers, bottles, sticky messes, and crying taking up every inch of your mental and physical space…I embrace the time. When that time approaches I am relieved to be able to sit down, relax, and let the gentle hum of the ceiling fan drown out the clutter in my head. I dim the lights, and prepare for the night.

It is a time for reflection, salty snacks, good reads, and cooking shows. My little one sleeps, sleeps so soundly…and I should probably be sleeping too. This, is impossible my friends. Like I said, this is “me time”. Yes, the clothes in the dryer probably should be folded, the dishes in the sink should probably get cleaned. I tried desperately during the day to finish these tasks, but to no avail, they were not completed.

My mind ventures off to far away places. Even at 30, I sometimes feel I have the imagination of an 8-year-old. I go places, beautiful fictional places full of music, color, and light. Sometimes these places are just my past, my childhood past. The house has cooled down by now after being scorched by the sun for hours. The trees in the backyard are nothing but black silhouettes. I close the blinds, nobody wants to feel vulnerable. What is it about glass doors and night?

I glance over at my sleeping child and am overcome by nostalgia. I remember so vividly being a child, filled with innocence and hopefulness. I remember the smells, even though I am unable to tell you what exactly they were. I remember the comfort in a hug. It’s all very overwhelming, looking at my child and knowing that he will be experiencing these feelings as well. What will his imagination be like? Will he pretend to fly over the town at night as I did? Watching the town lights twinkle, and all the homes dimming theirs? Will he play in the dirt in the backyard with no regards to the soil under his fingernails?Will he be able to eat berries off the vine until his face is half covered in blackberry jam?

These thoughts come almost nightly, at 9 o’clock. Thoughts still full of wonder and hope. Not hope for me, but hope for him, my sleeping child.