11.12.2008

Bedtime Thoughts

Sitting here, with a cat in my lap, my eyes growing tired and I think I may go to bed after this, but I thought I would leave you with a little memory I have. Its something I think of every night before I go to sleep. Its something that helps me relax and drift off into the land of Nod.

I remember when I was very young, my brother, dad and I were camping in the backyard. We had the tent set up in the far part of the yard, under the trees. I'm sure we roasted marshmallows in a makeshift fire pit (i.e. old metal BBQ). It was late and the three of us were tucked into our sleeping bags, my dad conveniently positioned in between my brother and I. You know, to stop those inevitable fights.

"Kelsy? Are you awake" my little brother whispered to me in the dark/

"Yes" I answered.

"I can't sleep, I'm scared." He said to me. In the silence all you could hear were crickets and maybe some bats and the gentle rustling of the trees in the breeze.

I told him to breath in through his nose and out through he mouth as deeply and slowly as he could. To think about his breathing and not about the noises outside of the tent. That eventually he would be alseep and wouldn't even know it.

We breathed together a while, me coaxing him "in... out... in... out..." until eventually my voice faded to silence and we both drifted off to sleep.

I didn't learn until may years later that my dad happened to be awake for the entire exchanged. That he hadn't wanted to interrupt such a tender moment between the two of us, since they were so few and far between.

I think about this alot. Not just when I go to bed, but any time I breath deeply. Practicing those techniques my therapist (oh man, I feel terribly pretentious saying that!) is trying to convince me will get me through those panic attacks. I think about those simple times, camping in the back yard and I yearn to get back to that. To a time when my brother looked up to me and valued my advice. I time when I was able to comfort him.

But things aren't the same and times have changed. But I can still hang onto those happy places when I drift off to sleep.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Aw, sweet memory. :)

My mom taught me when I was a kid and had bad or scary thoughts keeping me awake: Breathe deeply a few times, then say out loud, "Stop, stop, stop." Then picture a happy time or place. I still use that advice to this day.

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