Why I’m Up This Late On A School Night

I was up at 5 a.m. this morning. I need to be asleep right now, 11 p.m. But Babygirl, our sassy silly bossy girl, just went to sleep. And yes, I said bossy, because she is, and we love that about her. Per the “ban bossy” campaign, she has executive leadership skills. Superior executive leadership skills. She’s got me and hubby rocking her and singing to her (“Not Do Re Mi, Mommy! Sing Twinkle Twinkle!”) running to fill another bottle for her (Yes, bottle, and yes, I know that is ridiculous for a two year old to still have a bottle) and finding exactly the right kitty cat stuffed animal for her (“Not the Baby Kitty Mommy, I want the Daddy Kitty, right now!”). We are completely, acutely and miserably aware that we are not in control of her bedtime anymore.

Why that is and what we’re going to do about it are subjects for another post. I am too tired, and actually my attention is caught up in the Boston Marathon Finish Line. Many of you know, I’m from Boston. I write about my life as a mom in a suburb just south of the city and as a doctor at a downtown Boston hospital. The bombings last year, the manhunt, the lockdown… I was in no way directly involved, and yet, we all were. Everyone knew someone who was pushed or pulled into the events of those breathless days.

The past few weeks, there have been news and magazine articles profiling survivors and heroes; notices of memorials and fundraisers; talk and informational emails detailing the extensive preparations for Marathon Monday itself. In the past days, there has been a nervous communal energy over just about everyone. Casual neighborhood chatter drifts to “Where were you last year during the bombings, during the manhunt?”… Hubby and I recalled Lockdown Friday, that he was out of town and I was stuck at the hospital. He was in a panic about the safety of the kids, and called my mom and demanded that they all shelter inside… We remembered, together, what that was like, in a grim recounting, saying, Can you believe that happened?

Today was the actual anniversary of the bombings. The local radio and news stations covered all the events all day long. The drive home from work this afternoon was awful. It’s pouring rain. I don’t know if it’s due to the influx of people or the events or just bad weather. I got home late; we started the bedtime routine late; the kids were up late… and here I am writing. It feels like there’s a permission to deviate from the usual schedule, from regular bedtimes. It feels like a special time; not celebratory, but rather crisis-like. Anything goes, just get through.

So it is that I’m awake after 11 p.m., writing. Checking out the news reports of the memorials, the speeches, the famous folks lending support; as well as the crazy guy who rushed the Boylston finish line with two oversized backpacks, some kind of scare stunt. With the city this tense and wired up, not a good idea. But the events will go on, the race will go on. We’ll all go on.

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