My high school uniform. Izod shirt hides the jumper.

My high school uniform. Izod shirt hides the jumper.

My kid has been having a hard time going to sleep. She’s almost 13. She says she’s afraid to be alone. She loves scary movies but I think the last one got to her.

So she’s been seeking solace in her brother’s room. He has an extra bed. It’s a full size bed. He’s 5’10” and still sleeps in his original twin bed. Legs, head or both hanging over the edges. But that’s a whole other story. (Something about being adverse to change.)

The problem is, her brother doesn’t want her to come in to his room. He says he doesn’t sleep as well when she’s there. I get it. I’ve shared space with her. She’s a bit of a thrasher. And a loud breather.

But since he goes to bed earlier, because he gets up at 5:30 am and she gets up two and a half hours later, she’s been sneaking in to his room after he falls asleep.It’s been working.

But last night, when I was getting ready to help her sneak in, she said to me that she felt like a baby. Because she didn’t want to sleep alone. I felt for her. I really did. I wanted to ease her mind, even though she had been a royal pain earlier in the evening. So I said to her, “You know, you’re not going to be 20 years old and still doing this. This too shall pass. Don’t worry about it.”

But as I was saying that, this memory jumped in to the front of my brain. I’m too old to keep many memories up there. Something has to happen to jolt them out of my unconscious. Then they’re as clear as if they happened the day before.

And the memory was this: When I was her age, or even a little bit older, for a period of at least a couple of months, I slept in my clothes. Every night, after I said goodnight to my parents, I would take my pajamas off and put on my school uniform. The whole outfit. Everything from the jumper to the belt to the socks. I even did my make-up before bed. (Just a little eyeliner and blush.)

(This sounds like one of those things I should have listed in my “Things I Am Afraid To Tell You”.)

Looking back on this, some 30 plus years later, I have to attribute this period of odd behavior to my fear of being late when I was a kid. Maybe I would oversleep and not have enough time to get my hair perfect. Or my older brother might hog the bathroom and I wouldn’t have access to all my stuff. Or I just wouldn’t be able to pick out an outfit for that day in time.

Who knows. And I’m not going back to therapy to try to figure that one out.The funny thing is, I still have a fear of being late. Of missing an airplane. Of picking up one of my kids late. Of walking in to an appointment one tenth of a second after the scheduled time.

Do you know that I can count, on one hand, the number of times I’ve been late to something? I did miss my plane once, about five years ago. Driving to the airport in the dark, my husband ran over a drive shaft. Two flat tires. Missed our flight but still got to our destination in time.

Even after that experience, with everything turning out okay, I’m still fearful of being late. Pathological almost. I can’t even hold a conversation on the way to the airport.

I guess this part of my personality will never change. It could be worse. I could fear snakes or intimacy. But thank goodness the sleeping in my clothes phase passed. It would be really awkward if I secretly went to bed in my mom uniform.

GD Day 3

Mom uniform