I slept fitfully last night, waking up what felt like every 10 minutes. Something mechanical beeped. The dryer? Nick was cleaning up Legos (thoughtful but it was so loud--was this angry Lego tidying?). Thea needed water. Then she had a bad dream.
In between all the waking I’d been having bad, or at least weird, dreams, too. In one Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson danced across the stage in an empty school auditorium singing “you don’t have the votes” presumably to--Trump? The Senate Republicans? Then I was at a literary festival (I know, other people’s dreams are mostly boring) and it was late and my literary agent was there and I booked a flight home from New Orleans but had to drive through Sedona where my car spun out on black ice at a truck stop. No one was wearing a mask and I was letting Thea sleep in the front seat and we missed our flight and instead found ourselves chaperoning a high school field trip with no way to get home or tell Nick and Simon where we were.
Then, in real life, Thea woke me again. She’d had a bad dream. Her favorite stuffed animal’s head had fallen off. This was her version of the dreams I’d been having and I was glad she’d woken me. I brought her into our bed and tucked her in between me and Nick where I lay worrying that my 5am running alarm would wake her until finally, at 4:30, I just got up and turned it off and tiptoed downstairs and read messages about phone banking in swing states and school reopening, all from people I care deeply about and about the obsessions of my waking (and sleeping) days, but all messages I couldn’t reasonably respond to at 5:03am.
Instead, I cleaned up the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, made coffee that inexplicably, despite making it the exact same way for 20 years, did not turn out quite right. When Thea wakes up I’ll be miles away from our house, running in the dark, but Nick and maybe Simon too will be right there. When I get home from my run, Nick will leave for work, his lunch packed so he can eat it in his car and we’ll start the choreography of masks on lanyards for preschool drop-off (“stay to the side of the road!” “look before your cross”) and home again for virtual Library Learning Commons (I love the school librarian) and a computer game for practicing math that involves much more than math (“Mama! Something popped up!”) and preschool pickup early so that we can make it to afternoon 1st grade in-person learning on time and a third round of canvassing for a state representative candidate. Chaperoning a field trip and You don’t have the votes and spinning out on black ice at a rest stop in Sedona.