Jingle Bells

My son woke me up around 5 am this morning. Well, actually, I had been lying there for some time. Full moons seem to affect both of us equally. The night of the full moon I hardly sleep at all but the few days before and/or after aren’t that much better either. The thing is, although it might be annoying to toss and turn so much, I’m not really all that tired after a sleepless night courtesy of la luna. So it goes.

He came and laid in bed with us. We have been trying to discourage this for several reasons. All of them are for purely selfish ones. Noah tends to occupy the bed. And he has a need to be touching both of us with any given body part which often results with his foot resting on my forehead. Once he’s in bed, we’re awake. Sabina and I generally agree on most things. One thing we most definitely agree on is ‘do not fuck with our sleep.’ Well, Noah certainly does.

So it’s 5. We’re all awake and Noah breaks out into a bi-lingual version of jingle bells (I didn’t know there was a Bosnia version of Jingle Bells). It’s not even Thanksgiving and we get a Bosnian/English version of jingle bells. It’s hard to be annoyed when your three old sings Jingle Bells to you in two languages at 5 am. (Notice that I keep repeating it was 5 am – there I go again).

Now there is no reason whatsoever that I am writing about this except for the fact that I feel that I need to give a little more time and attention to thebosniaguy. What this has to do with Bosnia or the guy…I really couldn’t tell you.

This was the second or third night/morning in a row that he has gotten up around the same time. I could tell he was feeling a bit under the weather. But I took him to pre-school nonetheless. He wasn’t feverish, ate breakfast, and gave me a hard time about putting his jacket on – all signs of a healthy kid. After dropping him off I went to the Hotel Europe for a coffee with Pedja and Danis. Then the phone rang. It was school. Coffee time was over. Noah had a fever.

So we’ve been home all day today. He slept a good part of the day. I did what every parent does with their sick kid. Kiss his forehead every now and then to check his temperature. Made him mint tea. Kept him covered with his soft, baby blue blanket. Put on his favorite cartoons (which vary but today was a Pocoyo day). As I sat and watched him snooze I kept thinking how lucky we are. Lucky in the sense that when and if our son is sick then I have the ability to ‘not work’ and take care of him. There are a lot of imperfect things about this country. Any country for that matter. But I really think it’s one of the few places where I could, and do, get away with it. Living in the ‘west’ certainly has many advantages, free time is not one of them. And it’s my ‘free’ time that I cherish most in my life because it gives me the opportunity to be with my family much more so than the ‘western standards’ the world so desperately aspires to (or for a 10am coffee with Pedja and Danis for that matter).

A lot of people complain about things here. And sure, we have a lot to whine about if we must whine. BUT, one thing we most certainly do get here is time. And it’s up to us how we use that time. Time with my son, whether it’s reading a book or watching him sleep, is the best standard of living I could hope for. So no, I’ll never be a rich man. But man oh man, sometimes I feel like I’m rolling in it.

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