The Tragic Optimist

Asleep and dreaming

I’ve seen you laugh at nothing at all
I’ve seen you sadly weeping
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

I heard the Magnetic Fields’ song “Asleep and Dreaming” last night on the way home from work, and it made me think of Zoe. But I kept thinking how sad it would be if the sweetest thing about her was when she was sleeping. Because she’s very sweet when awake, too. Then I got home. It was one of those nights. Dinner was a struggle, she wanted something, but we couldn’t figure out what. Cleaning up dinner was just as bad. We had a brief moment of calm unpacking a couple boxes of clothes from her blog sister. Getting ready for bed was back to bad. The bath was ok until we tried to wash her hair. Drying off was a fight. Putting a diaper on was an epic struggle. You’d think the pajamas we picked out were made of wire, given how much she did not want them on. Teeth brushing was a no go. But she finally calmed down for bedtime stories, and when I set her in her crib, she snuggled down, threw her arm around her stuffed monkey and pulled it in tight and smiled up at me.

Well you may not be beautiful
But it’s not for me to judge
I don’t know if you’re beautiful
Because I love you too much

I’ve seen you laugh at nothing at all
I’ve seen you sadly weeping
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

I’ve seen you when your ship came in
And when your train was leaving
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

-Magnetic Fields, Asleep and Dreaming



  1. That is such a sweet post!! It almost brought a tear to my eye.

    My nieces (from my husband’s sister) are 5 and 8 and are both hell on wheels. When we are around them and they are in top form, he looks at me and says, “Remember – that’s what you want!”

    I can’t wait until we have our own (hopefully with better manners) and he gets to see those moments, too. He will be butter in her hands.

  2. Ann, thanks for introducing me to the Magnetic Fields. I’m enjoying listening to their songs on YouTube right now!

  3. Yay! I love Magnetic Fields, enjoy!

    Jamie, there have been many nights (though thankfully not the majority of nights), when we’ve gone to be exhausted from struggles with Zoe, and Chris always turns to me and says, “I love that little girl.” Your husband will absolutely be butter in your child’s hands.

  4. Yes, I am learning more about Stephin Merrit. He is so talented. There are some truly beautiful love songs on that album. Have you seen this clip?


  5. Awe what a cute song!! And what a cute baby you have!

  6. Now I’ll have to go find that song. I love the lyrics!

  7. untowardness says : I absolutely agree with this !


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