The Family That Naps Together…

Cousins napping, circa early 1990s.

Cousins napping, circa early 1990s.

Every family has its specialty.  It’s something unique that runs in the family. For example,  some families boast a long line of musically-inclined people. Others have a bevy of captains and generals and run their families like they’re all in the military. Think Captain Von Trapp and his whistle (although his family was into belting showtunes, too).

Some families excel at science. Still others always win on game shows like, Family Feud. Then there are the Kennedy’s, who thrive on competition and can’t get together without playing touch football. Which they’re very good at, I might add.

There are the Hilton’s and the Marriott’s, who are famous for their hotel kingdoms. The Vanderbilt’s for their wealth, the Roosevelt’s for politics, and of course, the Brits have their Royal Family, who love adorning their heads with fascinating fascinators.

Yes, all families have something that distinguishes them from others. Mine is no exception.

Even Henry and Oliver enjoy a good nap now and then.

Henry and Oliver never miss an opportunity to get some shut-eye.

We are a family of nap-takers. Sure, Latin families are known for being hot-blooded, salsa dancing, and eating spicy food, and we’re no exception. But when it comes to napping, we’ve mastered the art.

We come from a long line of nappers, starting with Jose Alberto Pedro Jamás Medina, who first came to America on the Mayflower way back when. Yes! He was on the Mayflower–as the only Puritan from Spain–but he happened to be napping when the ship landed at Plymouth Rock, and he slept all the way through to South America. Not realizing what had happened, he cursed Miles Standish for not awaking him, and landed, alone and sleepy-eyed, on the sandy shores of Venezuela and proceeded to take a nap.

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, but you get the point. We’re the kind of family that can fall asleep on a dime and probably miss many a great moment in history. Like the invention of the light bulb, the demise of silent films, and the first step on the moon. Yep, we slept through all that.

From the moment I was born, I was napping. It came naturally to me, like second nature. My father would take several naps during the day. My mother could nap while washing the dishes–by hand. Or at her sewing machine, while still putting the pedal to the metal. My eldest brother was famous for taking four-hour naps. My ideal nap was 20 minutes in length.

My father would take us on road trips–once all the way to St. Louis Missouri, and do you think any of us remember the scenery? Nope. Except for my father, we were all napping.

Upon arrival we checked into a motel and got some shut-eye. Ah, bliss.

Even my newborn son enjoyed a good nap.

Even my newborn son enjoys a good nap. Still does!

If I’m not driving the car, I’m napping in it. The traffic sounds and the car’s movement–which often makes some people carsick–don’t bother me.  I can sleep through anything during the day, including broad daylight. You can even blast The Who or Led Zeppelin on the stereo. Bring it on!

Anything goes when napping during the day, but at night I need ABSOLUTE silence and darkness. Never needed a nightlight in my life. Too distracting. Give me pitch black darkness in a quiet house, with not a creature stirring, not even a mouse, and I’m good for the duration.

Napping is utterly divine. In college, I’d go visit my brother who was attending a different school 20 minutes away by train. I’d nap on the train and when I’d arrive to see him and his girlfriend, it didn’t take long for us to close our eyes and nap in the dorm. After all, dorm is short for dormitory, which is Latin for dormire. Or sleep.

Napping while sitting in a comfy chair watching TV, is sheer perfection. I also nap on planes, on trains and once in a hot-air balloon. The subway, with its rumble and deafening roar, is a delightful place for a nap. So are elevators–ever hear of the 3-minute nap? Sure, some people need 40 winks. Two is fine for me, thank you very much.

Of course, I draw the line at escalators. Not a good place for a nap. Nor are revolving doors, don’t ask me why.

Ever sleep standing up? Piece of cake. Though it’s easier to do if there’s a wall nearby.

Napping. Some can do it. Others can’t get the hang of it. For my family, there’s nothing like the peaceful feeling that washes over you when you slip into oblivion. And all it takes is 10 minutes. Okay, maybe 20. Now you’re talking.

How about you? Taken a good nap lately?

26 thoughts on “The Family That Naps Together…

  1. Oh Monica you’ve found me out. My secret, a very guarded one, is that I like taking naps. I cannot imagine life without them.
    Growing up in Sri Lanka, I never took them, but my mum did. She was up at the crack of dawn and would go all day. But, there was a 20 min. siesta in the afternoon, when she would take a quick nap, for she was always on the go with us, taking me to different activities. It was hot in the afternoons too.
    I started taking naps when my girls were born. I need 20 mins. I am good to go afterwards; refreshed and energized. The family joke is that I can sleep in a car no matter where we are. Yes, I do. It is not a deep sleep but I love my husband even more for driving on family trips. Sometimes, I will get to the girls school early and slip in a quick nap before pick up. It brings me peace.
    I’m telling you, I could live quite happily in Spain or Italy. I would be down for the siesta before they even closed the shops. I love that photo of Henry and Oliver – how cute are they…

    • It’s amazing and fun to discover how much we have in common. And you know what? Sometimes I fall asleep at movies, too. I feel sad for those who can’t fall asleep in cars or on planes, etc. Those are often the best times for naps!

  2. That’s why I like when my husband drives . . . Nothing like a little snooze in a sunny (moving) car. But I confess, too, on a Saturday afternoon, when he’s out golfing (that’s still a few months away), you’ll find me stretched on the couch — when the sun is streaming through my windows. Absolutely delightful post, Monica.

  3. It’s so funny that you wrote about this. My sister and I always talk about the Medina blood when it comes to napping. We can fall asleep anywhere. Starting with my father we all have this trait even Marissa’s daughter. There’s nothing like a good nap. :).

    • Renee, First I want to thank you for reinforcing my thesis. We indeed are a family of nappers. Second, I hope you’ll share this with Marissa.
      I remember coming home from school, or from hanging out with friends, and there my father would be. On the couch, with the TV on full volume, and napping. It was just par for the course!

  4. What a great celebration of your family! When we were little we used to all crawl into the big bed with Mom and nap. I remember finally convincing her I was old enough not to need one. She still made me lay down and wait until my sisters were asleep – and usually so was she. My sisters and I still talk about listening to Mom breathe – we all suspect she’s suffered sleep apnea since we were that young. If you need one, there’s nothing like a NAP.

    • You are right, Lisa. There really is nothing like a nap. My family takes great pride in our naps. You should see us when we get together for the holidays! One big happy (sleepy) family. That’s us!

  5. No, not a napper, but T-Bob our 18-yr old cat is. Sleeps all day and up all night wanting a drink of water from the bathroom water fountain, also known as the sink! Your Henry and Oliver seem to have it right.

    • How can you not nap? What’s your secret? I find the older I get, the more I need them! In fact, I could use one right about now. Tell T-Bob to move over so I can slide right in and catch me some zzz’s. 😉

  6. I am NOT a napper. Never was. In fact, when we were kids, my mom used to bribe us with a quarter for the first one to fall asleep, and I NEVER won. Guess even then, I figured 25 cents wasn’t worth it!!

    I did enjoy your photos, though, and I can’t help marveling at your ability to fall asleep practically anywhere. I wouldn’t sleep at night if I napped throughout the day!

    • Sometimes I wonder about just that re the dogs. They sure do sleep all day. Then they get excited when I get home. They go for a walk, eat, play for an hour and then they’re ready for bed and sleep all night. Talk about sleeping your life away!

  7. Like you if I am a passenger I can nap in a car, within a couple of miles of the start I am ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    I also tend to doze off in the office, normally I work with headphones on playing music, and I have been know to nap for a couple of hours.

  8. I love naps! but never get a chance to indulge these days. I still think the Spanish have it right. Big lunch, followed by Big nap, then a little productivity then Big night out till 3-4 a.m. Ah that was the life, it suited me to a tee! Why can’t we American’s appreciate the health benefits of the Spanish lifestyle!!!!!

  9. Ah napping one of my favorite pastimes, and one that is becoming harder and harder to find time to practice.

  10. —beautiful family tradition. All of your hearts beating together while napping!
    fabulous post!
    Gorgeous napping photos.
    one of our family traditions is a big Italian dinner and my dad gives us all trivia questions!

  11. I love a good nap, too. Amazing are the days you get longer than 5 minutes for one though… and I too require pitch black, silence and darkness. A tell tale sign a relationship is not going to work is if he needs the TV, radio or a fan or something on to fall asleep!

    • Not liking the same sleep environment is grounds for divorce. And don’t get me started on snoring! Though I wouldn’t be one to complain about that seeing how I’m a culprit–or so Henry says. 😉

  12. Rarely take a nap. It can happen if I’m bored to death with the tv on and nothing interesting on it. Bingo! Nap time.
    That’s life!

  13. LOVE this post, Monica. First of all, the photos are fabulous. And that one of the dogs is precious! Seriously, how cute are those boys!

    I LOVE to nap. Our dogs nap. Sara naps. We are nappers. Still, I cannot nap unless I am in a prone position. And I can never nap on a plane–even during all of those 30 hour trips to Vietnam. God, that was frustrating.

    Happy napping, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy, it would be torture for me if I couldn’t nap on a plane. And yes, I agree. The dogs are cutie pies–especially when they’re napping. So I hope this means that when I come down to visit, we’ll all take an afternoon siesta! How’s that sound? 😉

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