the third day

a person underneath white blankets with white pillows, with only light brown hair showing beneath the covers

to sleep, perchance to try really hard to sleep

TOPICAL: this is part of The Cycle of the Seasons series

I am writing this as our toddler tries very hard to fall asleep. Some nights he’s out like a light, and other nights, like this one, he almost falls asleep, eyes drooping further and further, and then he snaps out of it. I know he isn’t doing it on purpose. He’s using all his self-soothing bedtime things; the egg-shaped nightlight, the favorite blankies, the pillow nest, the way he smooths his fingers on the best corner of the best blankie, the way the fingers on the other hand rub against each other gently.

We have taken to sitting by his bed until he’s able to fall asleep, because that seems to be the best thing for everyone. On nights like these, my body doesn’t manage two hours of sitting very well. I had to get up for the bathroom and he was SO upset, and then before I got back out of the bathroom, he was back in bed and trying again to sleep. I’m going to leave him alone for now and just watch the baby cam to see how he’s doing. His door is directly next to mine, so when he is upset, I will hear it even if I don’t see it.

Today was a little trickier all around. It was my dinner turn and I let myself get really agitated about a spice I couldn’t locate because I was convinced that the picadillo would not taste good at all without it. After I realized how this feeling was affecting everything else, I concentrated on letting go of the anxiety, letting the day be what it was, letting myself be concerned while also trusting myself to cook a good dinner even if my favorite spice (it’s cumin) would be missing.

Hope and the willingness to let the day roll over you is a discipline, which means that sometimes it is VERY HARD and you have to practice interrupting your own anxiety spirals in order to notice why your day is sideways.

He’s not sleeping yet. I have the baby cam up on my phone, zoomed in to his little face and slow-blinking eyes. He will sleep eventually. Tomorrow is a new day.

May hope find you in unexpected places.

— Nix

P.S. We found the cumin, after I’d relaxed into the acceptance that we didn’t have it. Sometimes these things are so on the nose.


Our days traditionally begin at sunset. The darkness is all around us but we are safe here together inside these walls that we have fortified with love and with sacrifice.

featured image is a photo by S L on Unsplash

Nix Kelley
Co-parent to multiple kids. Writer. Death doula. Member of the Order of the Good Death. Seeker on the Path of Light. Queer, non-binary, & trans.


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