11:47 a.m. – an exact hour and minute – moments revisited


My clock says 11:47 and that is PM not AM.   I sit here amusing myself with random thoughts about what 11:47 means.

Hmmm.  As a child I would sprint to my parent’s room after a nightmare or the boom of a storm.  My wonderful and patient mother got to see this special time on her clock often.  How very nice of me to share my 11:47 moments with her.

Now the 11:47 on my red numbered clock looked different as a teen.  Often it was huddled stuffy and hot under my blankets with a flashlight reading the latest book I was engrossed in.  I was positive I would miss something or even die if I did not sneak one more page in.

As a college student 11:47 was, as you’d guess, the late night studies. Lots of late night cram sessions were in my evening hours…  But, okay, let’s also be truthful.  Often it was more likely the phone calls from the one boy who’d caught my heart.  I would stay up for hours if he’d call and I would, naturally, amuse him with my amazing whit and charms.

Adulthood hit like a storm, and a loud one at that, with the birth of my first child.  She was a sweet, porcelain like doll of a babe with hair of strawberry gold.  What all the books failed to prepare me for was the sheer decibel level and piercing ability of her screaming at night to do more than injure my hearing.  There was the pure exhaustion no one could ever describe – that was second, along with the ability of something so cute to projectile poop across the room at that exact passing hour on the clock face, instead of the 11:47 AM which is a HUGE difference in a persons ability to calmly handle it.

In truth, 11:47 is only the beginning to a long night in a new mother’s routine, especially if you are a nursing mother and not a bottle-feeding one.  There are times I asked God why He either did not make boobs removable so parents could share the night time duty, or give guys a WORKING set of nipples!

When we found we were pregnant with our second daughter, no joke, I cried for 4 months.  Not because I did not want her, but because I conceived her while my first daughter was just 11 months old, and frankly, I had begun to stop seeing those blasted 11:47 digits on my clock!  I was just too tired to have forgotten enough of what lay ahead of me to be ready to tackle it with joy!  But God love her, she was a joy never the less.  There was never a day I saw that hour on the clock that I did not remember to thank God for her, or for my son when he surprised us 3 years later, joining us just after we sold all the baby stuff at the summer garage sale.

Once, 11:47 was a very bad time on my clock.  I had a kidney stone but had no clue it’s what I had, and so I just lay withering in my bed trying to be quiet so as not to wake my sleeping husband.  (Can I just say how annoying it is to wither in pain while someone softly snores beside you?  A good wife knows it is unfair to wake the sweet sleeping husband and knock him upside the head for the simple fact he is resting comfortably, but the little red devil perched upon a girl’s shoulder hounds her to do it anyway!)  In case you wonder, I did resist and he was blissfully unaware of my dire straights until morning, with which he correctly replied, “You should have woken me.”  God bless him.

Other times have been the on-your-knees type of awake at 11:47.  I have literally prayed my husband home from his across-the-state daily commute.  Weather, sleep deprivation, or sickness may have been his ride companions and I always felt that if he had to be awake, I would stay awake and do my best to see to it he got home safe.  There have often been family crisis and job losses, oh, and sick children.  I haven’t mentioned that yet have I?

Hours and hours of mothering sick kids at 11:47 runs though my mind now.  Holding shivering bodies and wiping runny noses, applying creams and ointments, shooting medicine down throats with special liquid squirting syringes and finding new ways to make sitting on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet, awaiting the inevitable, seem like a late night party with a pile of library of books beside us and blankets around us.

But three kids and 30 some odd years into my life, I find that I have trouble making myself go to bed BEFORE 11:47 at night.  Why you ask?  Well, it is complicated really.  The short version is that I just cant get any alone time consistently in and frankly, no one much bothers me at 11:47 at night.  I’d rather have alone time than sleep, as odd as that sounds to my afore mentioned new mommy self, desperate for sleep.    I do realize the irony. Guess this mom of older kids has learned to deal with sleep deprivation as just a normal part of life.

But listen, I’m not crazy here…  At 11:47 PM no one asks me what I am doing, if I can get them something while I am doing it, and if I’d mind maybe not doing that thing at all and just do what they want instead.   11:47 is nice cause it is all mine.  Oh, and get this, it is QUIET!

Now you may wonder about that husband of mine at 11:47.  See, when I say it is all mine, I guess I mean “ours.”  Often he is gone to work, as his work shift demands, and so 11:47 may be exact that,  just mine.  But if I can get an 11:47 on my clock that is OURS and no one else’s, you better believe I am gonna grab it.  See, that boy that used to call me late at night and I used all my whit and charm to impress?  Well, I married him, and let’s just say that neither time, nor kids, has dulled what first drew us to those late night phone calls  🙂

Wait?  Do you hear that?  Awww…

Somebody is up!  Alone time is over.  I have to run.  Enjoy all your 11:47’s (and all the minutes in between.)

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