Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Inopportune Walk

This evening my wife decided to take a walk at a most inopportune time. The timing was less than ideal, as Abigail decided to start crying almost the instant the door closed, and I was all alone for however long a walk Hannah would take.

I finished the line of Greek homework I was on, hoping it was just a moment of restlessness on her part, but the English translation was made and my child was still expressing her discontent the only way she knows how. I laid the laptop on the floor, took a deep breath, and walked into the room from whence the commotion was originating.

There in the dark lay a poor mess. Although she's never seen any shows on Animal Planet, she was imitating with great success the death roll of a saltwater crocodile while still in her crib, the wooden bars preventing her from rolling out of the crib. I picked up the puddle of mush as leaving her in the crib would do nothing to aid her in returning to her restful state, much less in returning me to mine.

Hannah is quite skilled in turning a puddle of mush back into a sleeping infant, whereas my efforts at soothing the sobbing semiconscious mass had little effect, no so much as upgrading the puddle into a halfway gelatinous mix of tears and child. For a moment I was transported back to the first few weeks after Abigail came home from the hospital and turned me into a chronic consumer of caffeine. During those nights I was overcome with both despair and annoyance because the bubbling mass of tears was interrupting my already limited window allotted to sleep.

But tonight was different. I've mellowed out some since those first few weeks, and I hear that's a good sign that the sleep deprivation hasn't left any long-term damages to my body or psyche. Looking down into the drowsy eyes and gaping mouth, I saw a precious gift of time. The changes that have occurred in Abigail since last September are so profound that I can't help but think of how little time we have before our children leave their current stage of life forever. She won't always be this little. She won't always be this dependent on me. Wisdom tells me to take it all in one moment at a time and cherish it while it lasts.

An inopportune walk. A timely reminder.

Noisy Neighbors

I've never really been bothered about living in an apartment. It's conveniently close to work and church and conveniently easy to maintain (no yard work, little interior work). The whole house-hunting experience has been frustrating at times, and even scary when I stop to consider some of the upfront costs (repairs, fixtures, lawnmower, etc.). Last night I was reminded that apartment living isn't always the greatest thing.

As I've been sick since Thursday evening, I have been napping the last couple of days. Yesterday I took a nap while Hannah went to Enfoque, our Saturday night Hispanic church. With no one to wake me up, I got a good three hours in. By the time Hannah and I were ready for bed, I was a little restless. Come 1:00 am or so, I hear voices and laughter coming from outside. Since I wasn't getting any sleep in edgewise, I came out to the living room and peeked through the blinds. Seven or eight people, men and women, were in the parking lot after apparently having spent the last few hours enjoying the night life of Indianapolis. I couldn't tell if anyone was drunk, but they were certainly being loud and obnoxious at 1:00 am.

I decided to grab my laptop and look up the number of the Lawrence Police Department. No sense calling 911 for a little disturbing of the peace. The officer on the other end of the line was nice, and I'm thankful for the men and women who work 2nd and 3rd shift just to keep us safe. He told me he'd send an officer out to check on it. Within ten minutes I didn't hear any more noise outside.

In the 3+ years I've lived in this apartment complex, I've never had to do that. Of course, Abigail has been thus far unsuccessful at waking me up in the middle of the night, so it's possible my snoring has drowned out any obnoxious noises coming from outside. I guess I was just lucky last night. Whatever the the reason I've never had to do this before, I'm very happy to be looking for a house if nothing else for the chance at some privacy.

Then again, that's assuming my future neighbors aren't like my friends' neighbor who occasionally stands in front of his sliding door in the buff.