Look Hoot’s An Early Bird Now, Mom

A lot of things go haywire with our bodies as we age and I get that. Parts wear out after years and years of use and let’s be honest: abuse. We don’t like it but we can understand it. What is perplexing to me is how a staunch night owl suddenly becomes an early bird in the middle of their life.

I watched my mom seem to require less and less sleep as she got into her 70s but her lifelong early rising never wavered. It was a real bone of contention when we traveled together as I liked to go to bed late and sleep in. Or when I would pick her up at an early hour for a road trip and she wanted to chat the whole way while I preferred to listen it the radio and drink my coffee in silence. It always amazed me that after years of watching me start my homework late at night not because I was a procrastinator but because I did my best then and was also the person who had to battle to get me off to school every morning seemed to be consistently surprised by my behavior.

Now, however, if she was still alive, she wouldn’t recognize me in the mornings. I am awake early and once I am there is no rolling over and going back to sleep. I like to imagine sometimes that she and I are on vacation together and I would wake up and get dressed and ready for the day and be the one waiting for her for a change.

Again, I don’t know how this happened but it did. It seemed to coincide with my vision loss but because I have some perception of light my doctors don’t believe that is the cause. Could it be a psychological issue as a result of all that has happened? I am sure that’s a possibility. Is it my age? It could but I don’t remember this happening to anyone I know at my stage of life. But I’d like to think it’s my mom’s doing. Even though she’s no longer here with me, we can still have some quiet time in the mornings, when the husband and the parrot are still sleeping (yes, I am the earliest bird in this nest). I can make a cup of coffee and think about her, our many breakfasts together and even those rocky early rides in the car.

No matter what the cause of my new sleep habits it has had an effect on my marriage. My husband likes to sleep in on his days off, so I am stuck waiting for him to get up on the weekends. And whether or not she has had anything to do with my new early to bed, early to rise pattern, she is no doubt enjoying me dealing with my night owl husband. I never had a teenage daughter, but payback comes in many forms.

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