Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

News & Features » December 2018 » “A Letter to the Afternoon Nap My Child Has Given Up” by Stacey Zapalac

“A Letter to the Afternoon Nap My Child Has Given Up” by Stacey Zapalac

Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.

This week, Stacey Zapalac writes a letter of closure to a dear friend.

A Letter to the Afternoon Nap My Child Has Given Up
by Stacey Zapalac

Dear Afternoon Nap,

Four wonderful years ago we met. It was a cloudy afternoon, but you faithfully arrived like a ray of sunshine providing respite from the challenges of the morning—refreshing the mind, body, and soul for what lies ahead.

To my dismay, my son has decided to relieve you of your afternoon nap duties. While I am disappointed, I realize the time has come for you to move on. I am sure you will be welcomed with open arms by another family with a new baby, or a puppy, or an unemployed recent college graduate. Regardless of where you land, I want you to know how much you meant to me over the years.

I fondly remember that time when my son and I cozied up to read a cute library book we had gotten earlier in the day. My son ended up falling fast asleep in his crib. Afternoon nap, you must have sensed I needed a break because you lasted three and a half hours. I was able to finish eating my lunch, load the dishwasher, check my email, order some socks and a sweater from Gap, and take a shower. Afternoon nap, you were like an angel sent from heaven that day.

Then there was that time, afternoon nap, when you came early and surprised us in the car. You arrived during a time when my son was tired, out of snacks, had no Wi-Fi, and we were stuck in really crappy traffic. Thank you for wrapping your gentle afternoon nap arms around my son and helping him fall fast asleep. I was even able to hit the Chick-Fil-A drive thru without waking him up. Thank you for stepping in, afternoon nap.

1 Corinthians 15:51 tells us, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” Afternoon nap, our lives will be forever altered now that you have moved on. You were with us for such a short period of time, and those years were delightful. Without you, afternoon nap, our days are sometimes long, and at times, relentless. When 3:30 PM rolls around, the witching hour begins and chaos ensues. It is during these times I miss you most.

I know with challenge comes opportunity. Now that you have moved on, we are able to leave the house in the afternoon to go to Target or Costco. While at times nice, the consistency of afternoon nap was a welcome friend I will cherish.

I will miss you afternoon nap, but know you will forever be regarded with honor and reverence.

Stacey Zapalac 


STACEY ZAPALAC is a Chicago-based humor writer who has studied improv, writing, and satire at the Second City Training Center. She enjoys consuming trans-fats, watching the Chicago Cubs, and yes, Zapalac is her real last name. To see more of her work visit staceyzapalac.net.


Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018

Category: Original Fiction, Terrible Twosdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,