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2009-09-12 - 4:40 a.m.

....I'm up now....

A restless night's sleep. Susi woke for water at 2:50am, and her mother never fell back asleep. Tonight was one of our last chances to sleep under the stars, and it has been a brilliant, brilliant night for it. As Susi and I lay on the mattress on the top porch, we finally gave up reading in the dark and just watched the sky. I point out the Big Dipper, Venus, the North Star, and Cassiopaeia. Susi makes a small noise that I'll take for appreciation...although really she's more interested in the flashlight I brought out for reading the apple book.

Susi excitedly comments on every airplane that flies over, before she gesticulates wildly in sign language and repeats, "mooooooreee? mooooooreee?" as the plane lights disappear behind the roof the house. Each time, I laugh slightly and try to explain that I can't bring the planes, but if we wait another few minutes, one will surely fly over. Someday, I won't need to explain this, just as someday soon, Susi will know to say "Bye Bye" instead of "Da Do!" and I will be kind of sad about it.

Tonight brought a very special treat, as we saw the space station shoot across the night sky. The space station is immense! It is a bright, glowing, rectangle of white-orange light, and it takes a full minute to cross the night sky. Susi sees the flying dot and points and comments excitedly as usual, and does actually seem to notice that her mama is also pointing and gesticulating with her same childlike enthusiasm this time..

That was several hours ago. I caught a few hours of light sleep, but following the 2:50am cup of water for Susi, I have felt exhausted and wide awake at the same time. After about 20 minutes of listening to the neighborhood sounds - alarms from the harbo(u)r, people going home from bars, cats on rooftops, and the constant white noise of a big city - I put on my glasses and thought that watching the stars would have the same soporific effect as reading a book. Sigh. Not really.

At this time of night the bright, crescent moon has risen over the eastern sky, and now I can see the Plaeides, Cassiopaea, and Orion's belt. And then I see not one but TWO gigantic meteorites shoot across the sky. Ok, the sky is really too exciting to induce sleep, especially when your thoughts run off to the fact that you are going to spend more money than you ever have in your entire life on a house next week, and all of the financial pieces of the puzzle are still not entirely in place.

That was about 30 minutes ago, when stars, combined with the smell of bakeries waking up, forced me to give in to a sleepless night. Inspired by the smell of fresh bread from the neighborhood, I came downstairs and started my own loaf. It should be ready by the time the rest of the household wakes up. They will all rise...and I'll collapse for one of those 30-minute power naps that allows you to get through the day after a night like this. A night that is disruptive, but thankfully not unpleasant in the least.

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