Parenting

An open letter to the last nap

Tracy bids a very fond farewell to her three-year-old's much-loved afternoon nap. Sniff sniff

They used to be the best of friends, but it's time for Avery to move on from her afternoon nap

Dear Avery’s afternoon nap,
 
I have always loved you. When we first met, my passion for you was instant and all-consuming. I would giddily count down the minutes until your arrival and I dreaded your departure. When you were with me, all my doubts and anxieties melted away and I could exhale in your peaceful company. Somehow you always knew how to lift me up on even the toughest day.
 
At times, you were my very best friend in the world. I counted on you and you rarely let me down. You always brought a smile to my face and put a bounce back in my step. I want you to know that I’ve never taken you for granted. My love and gratitude for you run very deep.
 
But something has changed. I’ve tried to deny it, to push the hard truth aside, but as every day goes by, my feelings for you become more convoluted. My heart still leaps at your arrival, but now you may leave abruptly without explanation, long before you’ve fulfilled my needs. The days you do linger on, instead of enjoying your company, I’m nervously wringing my hands, wondering if I should ask you to leave.
 
Because, you see, there is someone else: Bedtime. The two of you used to share my affections equally, but Bedtime doesn’t seem content with that arrangement anymore. The longer I let you stay, the more he punishes me, sometimes making me wait hours past his expected arrival. I can’t bear it. My feelings for him are too strong.
 
It’s become clear that I cannot have you both and, as much as I want you, I need him. I’m so sorry.
 
We’ve had a lot of good years together, you and I, and I have tried everything to make this work, but it’s time we went our separate ways. We both knew it wasn’t going to be forever for us, and it’s best you go before there are any hard feelings. Deep down, I know you will be relieved — you’ve been sending some mixed signals with your unpredictable visits lately too. Please know I will miss you tremendously and it will take me a long time to fill the space you occupied in my life. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it.
 
I do hope we can still be friends. If you want to stop by occasionally, please do. I will cherish a little visit now and then, to sit back and reminisce about the way we were.
 
With affection,
Avery’s mom