I am a night person. As long as I can remember, I hated going to bed early. Even if I was sent to bed early I used to lie wide awake in my bed with hundred thoughts running a train in my little mind. My mind was more active and wove stories late into the night. That’s how I fell asleep, imagination lulling me out. The nights have always brought the bes out of me. I love the night – the ink blue sky, the moon, stars, clouds, with or without.
I know its important to get a good night’s sleep. I have tried changing my routine by calling it a day early (which is around 11pm). But after a while when I stay up that one night, I feel totally alive. Because that’s what I am, a night-bird. I love reading late into the night, watching a movie or having a long talk with someone equally nocturnal. My best thoughts pour out at this untimely hour and that’s when I need to catch it. If I wait till the morning, it evaporates like the morning dew that’s kissed by sunlight.
Nocturnality (I had to look up the dictionary, for the right word!) runs in the family. Highlight of any family get-together was the late night conversations. The laughter reached the roof and after midnight we all wanted snacks. Chips and biscuits brought out more topics to the table. My granny, uncles and aunts loved sitting up late. Earlier it was an interesting book, later, late night serials (often the repeats). My mother is no exception. I remember, whenever sleepless she used to sit up, pull out a whole wardrobe of clothes and neatly fold it back. That was her favorite nocturnal activity. Football World Cup matches and Tennis tournaments kept the family up late night. Even though we had school next day we were given that much of lenience. I thank my parents for that because that’s one of the best times of my childhood.
During exams, I loved sitting up late, enjoying the hush after everyone’s in bed and the silence brought more concentration. My literary assignments took shape in all its flowery beauty. Maths made more sense after midnight. The projects came to life, after bed time. Years later, as a mother, staying up late, with an equally nocturnal kid, was not that tough. What was tough was waking up in the morning and getting the day started, early. Now that too has become, a breeze.
So here I am sitting up late and smiling, the trait has been passed on. Given a chance, my son would stay up all night playing or just sitting next to me, chatting, cuddled up. But he has an early school bus to catch so it’s a rare treat. Some day, sorry, some night he will have his chance to stay up late and enjoy the hours, but till then he needs to get that precious sleep to keep him bright for the early school hours. During school vacation, I do let my kids have fun and stay up late with me. We watch movies together, with beds spread in the hall, a bowl of popcorn between us, building memories. They are thrilled to be up so late, which is not often. It’s after their bed time my mind chugs the train of thoughts and I love the silence of their sound sleep. Right now,at home, late nights are only mine.