What Was Bedtime Like Growing Up?

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Every Saturday in 2013 I’ll be sharing a post for the Mom Before Mom project. The goal is to tell the stories of life before motherhood, the stories which root the woman in every mother. So much of memory keeping is focused on capturing our children’s experience but what of our own? Who will capture the mother’s journey as a woman? Who will honor our journey if we don’t honor it first? Every week I’ll be answering a question, journaling my life stories. Read along or write along with the wonderful bloggers linking up every week.

mother's journey as a womanOriginal image by aussiegal via Flikr.

Prompt #7: Walk us through your bedtime routine as a kid. As a teen. Anything you still do now?

I don’t recall a bedtime routine but I do have a string of memories…

-Every night I’d kiss everyone good night. After pecks on the cheek, I’d climb into bed and turn on the TV. I don’t remember anyone checking up on me to make sure I was asleep or to turn the TV off. None of the strict bedtime rules of my own house now. When I got older, I read books until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I remember being so enraptured by a book that I’d fight sleep. My eyelids too heavy but  the story in my hands too good to put down. Sleep always came easy.

-Aside from the TV when I was very young, I always slept in silence. Until college when I got in the habit of falling asleep with music playing softly to lull me to sleep. It started when I got my own dorm room as a resident assistant. I realize it was a way to comfort myself. I’d never lived truly alone before and in some way the music made it feel less so. I still like to sleep with some kind of sound. Having grown up in the city, the silence of the suburbs irks me.

When I was a little girl, I remember getting scared in my room for no good reason other than it was huge and I was tiny and it was full of toys. Not just any toys but dolls, a My Buddy Doll, stuffed animals – lots of little fakes eyes watching me. I remember thinking they all came to life when I slept. Some days that thought was exciting to me. Others, it terrified me. To get to sleep, I’d cover my head under the blankets. Now, I can’t stand to have my head covered!

-I was a pretty neurotic kid, now that I think about it. I remember lying on my right side and getting freaked out that something was going to get me from behind me. So I’d turn over onto my left side only to worry about the same thing. My solution? Sleeping on my stomach. Why I didn’t consider something coming up behind  me, I’m not sure.

I stopped sleeping with a pillow in high school. YM or Seventeen ran an article that mentioned how sleeping without one was good for your back. I’m not sure of the science behind it but I tried it and never looked back.

-I loved scary movies and my grandfather didn’t really get the movie rating system. This means I saw a lot of scary and inappropriate movies when I was really young. Freddy Kreuger, anyone? On nights when we’d go to the movies to catch something scary, without fail I’d get into my mom’s bed. My mom isn’t a particularly affectionate or warm person but she always ushered me under the covers without complaint.

-I kept dream journals on and off. I’ve read some since and wow were they completely random. Brad Pitt, anyone? I had one recurring one for years. I was walking down the street and suddenly a group of people start chasing me. I run, turn the corner and go towards a house. Next thing I know, I’m in a room in the house looking out onto the street. The window is one giant piece of glass. I turn around and someone who was running after me before is behind me. That’s it. For years I had this dream and then one day I realized I hadn’t had it in years. Crazy how I still remember it.

-I almost forgot. Every night when I went to bed I’d kiss my grandfather goodnight. He always wished me off to sleep by saying, “Que suenes con los angelitos.” A direct translation would be “May you dream with angels”. It’s the Latino version of sweet dreams but also a little more – a blessing, a wish. I say it to my girls every night.

I’m a night owl. I love staying up late and don’t require much sleep. I’ve always been like this. I go to sleep because my body needs but truly because I love mornings. I love the freshness of a new day.

Prompts for the month of March:
Who took care of you when you were sick? How did you spend sick days? From soup to ointments to old wives tales, how did your family teach you to heal?
Did you have a favorite pet? A crazy one?What were their names? Tell us a story about your animal companions or lack their of. 
What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still harbor a desire to be that? When did you realize your dream was or wasn’t possible?
How did you choose what to do after high school? Did anyone provide valuable advice which influenced your decision?
What was the first piece of music you couldn’t stop listening to? What was the first piece of music you bought?

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