Home > Family, FTIAT, Guest blogger, Parenting > FTIAT: The Ocean Roars, Too.

FTIAT: The Ocean Roars, Too.

Anthony R. is better known to this blog’s readers as “Ba.D.” Since he’s worked hard to build his name, it’s important to him that name be included here.

I wrote in preface to his other guest post that “our relationship was built through the written word.” Before our son was born, I loved reading between hundreds and thousands of words written by him any given day. After our son’s birth, his written words became fewer, mostly reaching me in text message-sized bites.

I’ve missed his written words. I’ve missed their rhythm, so different than that arising in conversation, and the lovely heart so clearly revealed by them.

This post is a gift to me in so many ways, and one I am sure to savor for a long, long time to come.

ftiat img 200x200

The Ocean Roars, Too.

When Deb approached me to write a guest blog for her “For This I Am Thankful” series, I was both flattered and terrified. I used to be a semi-prolific blogger, but I’d not penned anything worthwhile in a long time; my current well of writing was dry. I was full of false starts, neat ideas that wouldn’t go anywhere, and lots of staring at a blank screen until I’d fall asleep at the keyboard.

I had no idea what to write.

I was lying in bed, struggling to stay awake and considering Seppuku when I heard the soft sounds of my son snoring in the other room, when the Eureka moment hit.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I snore. I’m not talking about just a little heavy breathing or a light purr. I saw wood. I am a chainsaw. I roar like a 747 coming down for an emergency landing, or a Mack Truck bearing down on a stalled out Datsun on the I-5 on a rainy evening: My snore is the Destroyer of Worlds and the Eater of Suns.

Of all the things for my son to inherit from me—my sense of humor, my dashing good looks, my penchant for bad movies, my funky eyesight, that annoying thing I do that Deb keeps telling me about—one of the few things I could have wished on him was my snore.

I’ve always been self-conscious about my snore, when I was old enough to care about such things; indeed, I don’t think I was actually aware that I snored until someone made a point to tell me that I did. It was probably at my first real pre-teen sleepover.

“Wake up, Anthony!”

“What’s going on?”

“Move over there.  You keep waking me up with your snoring.”

“Nuh, uh!  I don’t snore!”

“Yuh, huh!  You snore really loud.”

“I don’t snore.”

“You’re really loud.”

All through high school and college I found myself apologizing for my snore in advance or after the fact. Crashing someone’s couch, floor, or bed, I apologized for my snore. Riding planes, busses, and in cars, I apologized for my snore. If I was going to go find myself asleep near a stranger, friend, or lover, I apologized for my snore.

I was told it was because of sleep apnea, allergies, alcohol, illness, exhaustion, congestion, demons, dust, faking, and mis-aligned Chakras; and while many of those things can, and do, enhance and encourage my snoring harder, none of them cause it. I just snore.

My whole family snores. My great-grandmother snored. My grandfather did, too. My grandmother snores, and so does my mom. I snore, and so does my son.

My son snores.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s just this thing that’s part of me. I’ve come to learn that lots of people saw wood hard like I do. A lot of my friends and extended family don’t care because it’s something that’s part of them, part of their family, but that didn’t really change me from being hyper aware and apologetic for my snoring except with a close few.

By chance, one year, I found myself sitting on a bamboo raft that was resting on the beach. As I sat there, sleep deprived–snore deprived–surrounded by strangers, and staring up at the stars and out over the ocean, I was worrying myself awake over my snore.

I sat there and listened to the Pacific Ocean roar. I listened to the soothing crash of waves breaking on the beach, its ebb and flow, its steady, constant rhythm. I listened to it roar, like the whole of the ocean was itself snoring.

Like me.

When I first started seeing Deb…you know…in that way…I did the same thing I always did. I apologized for my snoring. She quickly put me at ease.

“So…yeah. I, um…I snore something awful…so–”

“I don’t mind; in fact, I like it. It’s like a sign of life or something.”

When we brought our son home from the hospital, we decided to do that co-sleeping thing so he would be sure to learn strong sleep rhythms, and breathing patterns. Also, we wanted him close so we, as new parents, wouldn’t freak out so much.

Well, so Deb wouldn’t freak out so much. I was in full bore freak mode.

Would I roll over and crush him in my sleep? Would I fall out of bed? Would he stop breathing in the night? Would my snoring wake him up?

“You don’t think my snore is going to wake him?”

“Daddy,” she said softly. We had taken to calling each other Mommy and Daddy. “Daddy, your breathing is strong and steady. It’s going to be soothing to him.”

“You sure, Mommy?”

“Yes, hon.”

I let myself drift off to sleep, my son in my arms.

It’s 3:45 a.m. on a Thursday morning. It’s raining. Hard. In the room down the hall is a beautiful little boy, aged three years. He lies there in bed, blankets and sheets twisted around his body, one leg hanging off of the bed, his butt in the air, and his face mashed against the mattress next to his pillow. He snores. Loudly. Rather, he snores as loudly as any 40 pound human being can.

It’s a beautiful sound, his snore. It ebbs and flows, rises and falls in a steady rhythm that lets me know he’s fine: Signs of life.

My son doesn’t yet realize that he snores. He doesn’t yet realize that he comes from a proud lineage of chainsaw wielding sleepers. He has yet to understand that, just like his dad, he at times can sound like an outboard motor.

On occasion, while we’re lying in bed watching cartoons, I’ll drift off for a minute or two. Sometimes, I’ll start to snore.

“Daddy, wake up!” My son scolds me while smacking my arm. “You snore disturb me!”

“You snore, too, little man.”

“No! Daddy snore!”

“So do you, kid.”

“No snore.”

But at least I know that he does. I know that he is very much like his daddy in that. I know that when he finally closes his eyes at night, I have signs of life.

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  1. December 14, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Signs of life. Beautifully put. Thanks to both of you for this post. Started my day off with a smile or two. BoyGenius snores; for now it’s still mainly soft and gentle with the occasional ocean roar. I love the snore(s) of my loved ones, they let me know how close we are. And if you listen really closely, for the snore, for the ocean — you will also feel the vibration. ♥

  2. December 14, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Sweet Lord, Anthony. This is a beautiful look at acceptance and parenthood and life, lots and lots of life. I’m having a hard time even imagining all the writer-y brilliance that lives under one roof with you and Deb. So lightbulbs just explode from it? Glad you both share your words with us!

  3. December 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Honestly, I never thought a post about snoring would be so beautiful. Normally I’d say I hate snoring. Karin wakes me up almost every night with hers. But this kind of puts things into perspective for me.

    The entire post is captivating and well written, but I especially love this:

    I sat there and listened to the Pacific Ocean roar. I listened to the soothing crash of waves breaking on the beach, its ebb and flow, its steady, constant rhythm. I listened to it roar, like the whole of the ocean was itself snoring.

    Like me.

    It’s no surprise to me that Deb’s partner would write so eloquently. Excellent, lovely post.

    • December 14, 2012 at 5:54 am

      I think one of the things I love most about this post are the connections drawn between father and son, between earth and earthling, between partners. (Deb can probably vouch for the fact that I’m all about connections!) I’m always looking for the macro/micro versions of life. 🙂

  4. December 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Omigosh. Anthony! What a beautiful love letter: to Deb, to your son, to yourself. This is spectacular. Truly. And I will print out a copy and set it on my husband’s pillow tonight. Because I’d rather sleep with his snoring than not have him at my side.

  5. December 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

    My friend Ruth lost her husband way too soon. The thing she missed most about him, she said, was his snore. I loved this post – my beloved snores, too. It is comforting, reassuring, sometimes annoying – but when I think about Ruth and her quiet, quiet nights, I remember to be thankful for the sign of life.

    I agree with Tori…too much writer-y brilliance under one roof!

    I am glad, Anthony, that you shared with us and that you share your life with such a beautiful family – one I feel like I know even though we’ve never met.

  6. December 14, 2012 at 7:29 am

    My Mr. Wonderful snores, too. I complained for decades about it. Banished him to the couch a few times, bought an ambient noise device to cover it up. Then he went to Iraq for a year, and the silence in my bedroom was deafening and lonely. I vowed that when he returned, I’d never again complain about his snoring. Because it meant he was next to me.

  7. Angelina Libby
    December 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I snore, hard core snore. I come from a long line of snore-ers as well. I also drool, not all the time, but I do. I used to deny my snoring until a friend threw socks at me at a sleep over to wake me up and said, “Quit snoring!” I was fifteen when I ceased living in denial. I cannot honestly recall if I spent much time apologizing for it. Luckily my hubby sleeps right through it… turning off the tv or opening the nightstand drawer awakens him but my painting sucking ceiling pulling down snore, no problemo. 😀 One of my favorite memories was a time when my dad’s parents were visiting and I awoke in the middle of the night. The snore of my grandparents downstairs synchronised with the snore of my father upstairs. It made me giggle then and it has me grinning now. Signs of life indeed

  8. December 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

    This one brought tears to my eyes. I am also a snorer, and so is my son. Before Chris and I moved in together, I was a single mom for about a year and a half, and I slept with Lucas (my son) almost every night. I’d put him in his bed at night, but he’d always wake up at some point and sneak into my bed. I didn’t mind too much. Even before that, we slept together often and we shared a bedroom. One of the most beautiful sounds in the world to me is Lucas’s snore.
    It’s funny you wrote about this and refer to snoring as a sign of life, because it’s how I always thought of it. If I can hear my boy snoring, I know all is well. I remember when he was a baby, he did not snore, and it would freak me out. I’d often have to get really close to him to listen for the sound of his tiny breaths, just to ease my mind. He started snoring when he was around 2, I think, and that helped calm this worried mama’s nerves so much faster. If I’d wake in the middle of the night and feel panicked and wondered how my boy was doing, all I’d have to do is listen for that snore and I’d go right back to sleep.
    I’ve never been able to think of my snore as a positive thing though, since everyone complains about it so much. It’s pretty bad, apparently. LOL!
    Fantastic post, Anthony!

  9. December 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This is stunning to read. Big smiles at two incredibly talented and blessed people. xoxo

  10. December 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Love it. My partner snores and whuffles and it is so so reassuring in the dark hours. I am so grateful that you have learned (with Deb’s encouragment) to embrace your snore, and even happier that you can embrace the snoring of your small person.
    The blogger/wordpress hissy fit often doesn’t let me in to this blog and I am grateful that today it relented.

  11. December 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I actually love snoring, as my wife snores. And as you do, nice and even, in a regular rhythm. See, I had to sleep in a tent with a guy who had sleep apnia. BAD. Lying there, I’d listen to him rattling the rafters (try that in a canvas tent), then suddenly – nothing. Silence. Hmm. Is he okay? Um … he’s not breathing. I mean, he is NOT BREATHING. NOTHING! OHMIGOD THE STUPID SOB HAS …….
    And then a rumble of snoring that would put a battleship’s broadside to shame erupts. And he’s breathing again. I’m not. I’ve just frantically tried to recall my CPR, wondering where the nearest helo for medevac is, and how the HECK a buncha guys dressed in WW2 uniform are gonna reason with the EMTs. (No sir, we’re not REALLY Nazis, we only play them on weekends. Why are you calling the FBI?!?)
    So go ahead and snore. And fer cryin’ out loud, start writing again! You beat the HECK outta most of the drivel out there! (Present company, except for me, absolutely excluded! 😀 )

  12. December 15, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I just read the comment from Eric Johnson, and it is very similar to my own response… I sometimes actually check to make sure my husband is still breathing if he is too quiet at night, since he rarely is quiet. I like the idea of snoring being a “sign of life”. If I wasn’t such a light sleeper, I wouldn’t mind it at all.

  13. December 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

    So sweet. I wake myself up snoring occasionally. I miss my husband snoring now that he is on the road. It is comforting.

  14. December 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Signs of life, thank you I needed this tonight. This was wonderfully done, beautifully written and made me smile, grin actually even as tears left glittering tracks down my checks.

    Signs of life, I truly needed the reminder. Thank you both.

  15. December 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    This is so great I wish I could frame it and hang it on a wall. Early in my marriage I learned to fall asleep regardless of my husbands snoring, and sleep talking. However he didn’t do it all the time, just occasionally. In recent years I’ve developed a loud snore and the doctor has told me it’s because of the shape of my throat. Unfortunately, my husband has become a light sleeper and it’s driven us to separate rooms. It’s sad but we both need our sleep.

    My youngest son has also always snored and I remember how cute it was when he was little. Now that he’s almost an adult, I can only hope that his future mate will be as supportive as Deb is concerning snoring.

  16. December 21, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Everyone, thank you so much for reading and commenting on Anthony’s post. He’s read your comments and is touched by them, even though he hasn’t had a chance to reply to them. Yet. 🙂

  17. February 8, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Revisiting. This post makes me smile. ❤

    • February 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Ditto! Sometimes when Anthony falls asleep while reading to D, I listen to their twin snores and return to this post. Such a gift, all of it. ♥

  18. August 16, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Holy shit. I wrote this???

    Man, I wish the little monster wouldn’t wake up so dang early. I write so much better late at night 🙂

  1. December 15, 2012 at 5:54 am
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