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Finding warmth in the chill of the night

The forced-air vent in our living room proves to be the best place to pump in the middle of the night.
The forced-air vent in our living room proves to be the best place to pump in the middle of the night.

The air temperature lately has been downright bone-chilling. For several nights in a row, I have just been so cold, that when I go to bed, even our bamboo sheets and our down duvet and cover aren’t enough to keep my teeth from chattering. However, my kids reminded me of the best spot in the house: In front of the heat register.

Growing up, this was my favorite place to lay or sit when the weather turned chilly. Well, that or with my feet under the wood-burning stove. My brother and I would wait for the heater to kick on and then nearly push each other over getting to the register just to the left of the front window. There was another one just to the right, but apparently the air was cooler because we both wanted this one.

Sometimes we would just sit or stand on them to warm ourselves up. Sometimes we could grab a blanket, and drape it over the register, allowing the heat to warm our entire bodies. It was basically like putting all of your clothes in the dryer just before you put them on. It felt so awesome. And the perfect place to spend Saturday mornings while watching cartoons.

My parents eventually put in baseboard heat so the days of forced-air, blanket-saunas were over. I sort of forgot about it until recently. As the temps dip into the negative numbers for actual readings, the house feels cold. No matter what we do, I just feel chilled. And so do the kids.

However, they discovered, if the heat was on when they got dressed, the vent on the side of the wall next to their bed was the best place to put on clothes. The warm air made getting up in the polar vortex a little more bearable. That little realization prompted them to take it one step further. They would sit in front of other vents when the warm air came out. Then, one of them got the great idea to sit in front of it with a blanket.

I can’t blame them.

In fact, I joined them.

Last night it was cold when I was up pumping at about 3:30 a.m. I typically sit on the floor just inside of our living room where there is a convenient outlet and a small light overhead. It also happens to be right in front of a heat vent. As I sat down, the warm air washed over my cold body like the sun of a July day. It was a little slice of cake. As I sat there, pumping, I wished I could capture the air and wrap it around myself. And that is when I saw my daughter’s blanket. It was a good-sized blanket, one that might cover an adult and it was within reach. I grabbed it, slid it around my shoulders and let the heat seep deep within the skin, warming every layer of my insides.

I dozed off…twice.

When I hit the end of that pumping session, I wondered if I could just sleep there all night. I knew the warm air would start flowing once the house reached it’s ideal temperature and the living room floor would not be that comfortable, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how cold the walk back to my bedroom was going to be and how nice the warm air felt. I enjoyed it for a few more minutes before heading off to bed, where I found the second warmest place in our house…curled up against my husband.