Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clean Sheets

Despite, my arch nemesis--another load of laundry--it's all worth it for the feel of clean sheets. In the summer, when it is hot, when the ticklings and flirtations of that midnight breeze waft into the bedroom, and you crawl into the freshly made bed.  Your toes separating the layer of coziness and acceptance.  The crisp embrace.  The smell of sleep awaits.  The joy in surviving a long day and the final arrival of dreamland.  There is nothing like it.

The eco-friendly minimalist in me feels some guilt about the number of 600+ thread count sheets that fill my very tiny linen closet.  I often wonder if I could survive the withdrawal from living with one set of sheets, one duvet cover and one quilt.  Maybe two, I think, and then I can't decide.  Which ones do I keep?  This one was given to us as a wedding present, and this one is extra crispy if dried on the clothes line.  And well, that's my favorite cozy up on the couch quilt.  And then, you add the real bamboo sheets, and I have to keep the sustainable ones!  

One of my first fights with my husband was over sheets.  I asked him, trying to match the duvet cover with the sheet set, if the shades of green matched.  I kept trying to make him choose between two different sets of green, insisting he choose, all the while offended that he didn't care.  He walked out of the store.  I don't ask him those types of questions anymore.  My desire for perfection, even in sleep.  (insert eye-roll here)  Pretty funny, and silly to think back on now...ah, how the years change I just want a place to land that doesn't have pee pee, cracker crumbs or leggos...  
My son despises blankets.  The cute little baby swaddled and peaceful...yeah, that was not him.  Peaceful, yes.  Swaddled, no.  My husband and I kept thinking we were doing the swaddling incorrectly.  Endlessly rechecking the Harvey Karp book "Happiest Baby on the Block," in any attempt to master the art of the swaddle, the better we got at it, the more improved my son's techniques became at getting out of it.  We would get him to sleep, swaddled and sweet.  Set him down in his bassinet.  Wait for it...wait for it.  Feet at the perfect 90 degrees.  Wiggle a bit.  Slam his feet down.  Success!  Swaddle unlocked, and free to wiggle.  I guess he likes his freedom.  He still refuses most blankets, although he does enjoy one my aunt knitted for him...there is ownership in it for him, and lots of love.  

Thankfully, hubby and I are the same kind of blanket sleepers.  Pulled up to right under our chins.  Snuggled and warm...except...just before he falls asleep, and perhaps as his own de-swaddling mechanism (like father, like son, I know) he scrounges around the bottom of the bed with his toes.  Searching for what, I don't know, but this scavenger hunt allows just enough of the outside cold air in through the side of the blanket.  And then, finally settling his feet...poof...cold air fills the warm and snugly sandwich of blankets.  I remember it bothering me so long ago, but now it's an expected nighttime routine, and there is comfort in knowing, after it, I can fall asleep.    
Changing the sheets always brings joy for my son and I.  Me, for the anticipation of a clean space...the tucked edges...flattened with straight lines and very few wrinkles.    The accented pillows, aligned and set with style.  For my son, the fun in the reckless abandon of jumping on the bed, diving onto the comforter, and swinging in the sheets.  Total opposite approaches, and yet fun and laughs are had by both. 

I suppose the clean sheets and their first embrace with my exhausted body, provide me with the unconditional acceptance I have been longing for all day.  Despite the aging decrepitation of our really shitty, eco-un-friendly mattress, I know it will be there for doesn't complain, it doesn't want dinner, it doesn't need anything from me...and it means the much anticipated arrival of sleep.  

(Picture courtesy of Family Bed)


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