I've napped both days this weekend. I am not a particularly good napper. I wake feeling heavy and nauseated, and somewhat guilty. When I was a child, I loved naps. I came home from school many days, wrapped up in an afghan, and napped. In high school I fell into a heavy, drooling sleep each afternoon during swim season especially, waking slowly to the sounds of supper preparation. My mother was so sweet. I don't ever remember her waking me to set the table or pour drinks on those afternoons. She was in tune with my level of physical and mental exhaustion and knew, because she was a well-read but intuitive parent, that I needed rest.
In college I would nap for hours on the weekends, naps full of layers and layers of dreams. Have you ever had those dreams in which you dream you are waking up, and then in your dream you realize that you are dreaming, and you try to climb out of the pit of dreams to finally resurface, only to find that you are still dreaming? It's quite dreadful. Those were hard, exhausting days, mentally and emotionally. Also, I stayed up way too late most of the time, except during my senior year when I was doing my student teaching. I was actually responsible then.
When my children were small, I napped more frequently, often ostensibly to get them to nap. Now I find that my actual need for naps is nearly gone. My days are less stressful, physically and emotionally, than perhaps they ever have been. I've learned balance, and the vast majority of the time I get a full night's sleep.
My children are not nappers, and I wonder how much that has to do with the relative relaxation of their lives. They don't have to awaken early in the morning, and they don't have the emotional exhaustion that comes from being around people all day. Even my teenager, who by definition as a teenager should be napping and lazing about, never does. The Napping House, we are not.
But sometimes I crave the decadence of just reading in the middle of a cold afternoon, and unfortunately, reading while prone always leads to sleep for me. And now I feel vaguely disconnected from the day, trying to remember what I was doing, fitting back into the groove of a Sunday afternoon.
What about you? Are you a napper, or do naps leave you feeling disconcerted?