The t-shirts that are mostly holes, and the pajama pants that have stretched until they’re sheer and at least a foot longer than your legs; the robe and sheets and, if I’m being honest, even the underpants that are similarly stretched and rife with holes; the things that smell like you (and perhaps the one you share your bed with): these are what come to mind, for me, when I hear that beautiful word bedclothes. Just thinking about it my eyelids droop perceptibly.
And then there are also the warm things that are not cashmere-wrapped hot water bottles: the kittens and old dogs that sit on our feet or that we wrap ourselves around. The hundred-pound woollen security blanket that others find too scratchy. Musty pillows or stuffed animals that have been carried around for a couple of decades - or more. The lovers that are perfect for supporting heads and, well, I can’t sleep nearly as well without the ergonomic support of my husband over whom I like to flop at least one leg and an arm. These are comforters as much as their cousins, the finest of duvets. Some of them just may serve additional purposes.
When we moved to our new little part-furnished house in London - ten days before our baby was born - we realized a little too late that with our lease we were committing to sleep for the next year or two in the world’s tiniest double bed. I remain convinced it’s a glorified twin. Though we have packed five or six of them up against the narrow head board we would probably more comfortably share a single pillow. The situation improved considerably starting the night I went into labor, when I was not in bed at all, and then again when, having been delivered of our daughter, I shrank a bit.
We certainly each cherish the freedom and peace we find together in a king-sized hotel bed. When Grant is away for a few nights I splay myself across our little one, proving it takes just one adult body to fill it completely. But now it’s fall and it’s been a few months, and I can’t quite imagine us not mostly sleeping with limbs intertwined, smushed together like puzzle pieces that almost fit. Actually, I sort of can’t wait for the day our baby is big enough not to be crushed by our bodies in that tiny space so that we can rescue her from her austere crib next door and bring her into our overflowing one bed in the night and cuddle, all four of us, while the winter sun refuses to rise.
Squeeze them tight! xo, Barbara