I can remember lying in bed looking up at the shadows from cars speed across and around the tops of my walls like it was a race track. I can remember feeling hot. I can remember not feeling tired and most off all, I can remember the feel of that sunny room; a bright place, when it was supposed to be dark.
I always felt like my parents were tricking me during these summer night bedtimes. How could it be time to end my day, when the sights and sounds of what I knew my day to be were still present?
Well, recently, I have found a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson from "A Child's Garden of Verses" that perfectly portrays my thoughts about the summer bedtimes from long ago.
Bed In Summer
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
I read this poem with my children the other night. They sat silently after I finished. Perhaps they have not felt the feelings about the injustice and confusion of going to bed while it's still light outside (they are tucked snugly in at 7:30pm each night!). Maybe they have been quite content about going to bed while the noises of the day are still echoing in the neighborhood. Maybe I have just given them something to think about. I wonder if it will come back to bite me?