As I grow older I increasingly look for inspiration from people younger than myself, which, at odd moments, includes even my offspring. This is a risky business, as my oldest is only five. And as everyone knows, a 5-year-old is not the most rational of creatures. Still, as everyone also knows, a 5-year-old is endlessly inventive. Lately, I’ve marveled at my particular 5-year-old’s choice of places to sleep. While I glorify the bed, staring longingly at it as I pass through my bedroom several times a day, wondering just how long until the two of us can meet again, my son glorifies every place but the bed as a potential spot for resting his sweaty little head.
Just this past week, he insisted on sleeping in a) A laundry basket, and b) A homemade tepee. The surprising thing is, he slept beautifully in both places. As long as he has his favorite book beside him (currently The Picture Dictionary) and a comfortable pillow and blanket, he sleeps like a cat in sunlight. I confess to being amazed, especially at the tepee, as he made it from a tarp thrown over thin twigs and it was not exactly boogeyman-proof, yet he insisted on sleeping outside, by himself. My nerves broke long before his and at 9:30 pm I dragged him inside against his will.
All of this makes me reconsider my own lack of creativity. I can blame my aging back but is it more that I’m addicted to a routine, being in the same place all the time? If so, than I need to shake things up a bit. The routines of middle age will murder the impulses of youth every time — and, in spite of what I tell myself, this is not always a good thing. So here’s to mixing up the sleeping arrangements — within reason — and to hoping they manufacture a laundry basket in a super extra large size one of these days.