Saturday, January 18, 2014

Brain Stew

My son has been having trouble sleeping. That doesn't seem that odd, considering the difficulty his father has on any given night lulling off to slumberland. There are a number of different factors that contribute to sleeplessness, and I believe the first and most important one is having an active brain. Having a great many voices inside your head makes it very difficult to find rest. For me, it's the demands of three hundred and sixty kids, seventeen colleagues and all the attendant confusions and questions that can cause a mind to wander. Or fret. Mostly fret. That's why I have fewer sleep hours logged than many of my contemporaries. It was only recently that I was reminded of just how many different ways one could be kept from sleep when they were sixteen.
How about that pending driving test? Parallel parking? How many ounces of alcohol will impair a driver more than forty pounds? What about report cards? Trying to measure up to anyone's expectations on a regular and recurring basis must be awfully daunting. And then there's the looming specter of dating. When shall I ask her? What should I ask her should I ask her? What if she says no? What if she says yes? What if I forget what I was going to ask her?
No wonder he's tired. I remember going to bed in those days. I remember how long it took for sleep to find me, and when it did, how troubled it could be. I could not imagine a world where there would be greater or more challenging problems than the ones in front of me at that moment. Looking back, I wonder how I managed. I would love to tell my son that things get easier and when you're a grown up, you don't have to worry so much about what other people think. You just get used to it. Or don't.
This is what I thought about as I lay awake.

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