Naps and Siestas
I drove my parents crazy as a kid. Getting me to sleep was next to impossible. The world around me was just too exciting. There were just too many things to see and do. At my preschool we would have a mid-day nap, lying on thick blue gym mats. I lay there the entire time with my eyes wide open. It was my least favorite part of the day. Now I wish I could have gotten a rain check on all those naps. I wish they had let me run around, and gave me a bunch of “Nap Certificates” that I could cash in later in life. I sure could use them now.
Even as a teenager, I didn’t like to sleep all that much. I can’t recall ever taking a nap in this period of my life. Unless I was home with a fever, the thought of sleeping in the afternoon never even crossed my mind. I didn’t learn to appreciate naps until I went off to Spain. It was there that I fell in love with the siesta. Even after I got back to the U.S., I continued taking naps whenever I could. My parents gave me some good-natured ribbing, reminding me of my childhood hatred of naps.
Nowadays my baby nephew doesn’t want to take a nap. I tell my sister that, if he’s anything like his Uncle Steve, he’ll learn to nap around age 22. Somehow this isn’t a comforting idea. As my nephew gets older, I’ll try to impart the value of naps to him, though in the end, most children are too curious about the world to spend a day sleeping.