Why I Train to Sleep

Years of training…that’s what allowed me to ignore the laughing 10 year old boys outside my bedroom door.

The family and I were invited to a friend’s lake house. We spent Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend swimming and tubing on a beautiful, tree lined lake. My wife got the room with the girls and I got to sleep with my son, Alex, and his friend, Zac.

Two bits of good news. One, Alex and Zac fell right to sleep. They only made a couple farting sounds and after I told them they should stop trying to “sound” like they’re snoring and go to sleep because, “once I fall asleep you’re gonna hear some serious snoring and then you’ll never sleep,” they didn’t make anther sound. And two, the next morning they went outside the bedroom door to play Minecraft.

They might have been outside the door, but that doesn’t mean they were quiet. However, years of training helped me ignore them and continue sleeping.

My training started early. Saturday mornings my Dad would blare marching music from our tape deck in the kitchen. My bedroom was right around the corner and all I heard was loud, distorted, tinny versions of “Stars and Stripes Forever“, and “The Washington Post“. Sleeping thru that became a challenge that would have made Rip Van Winkle proud. College was the ice my roommates would toss under my covers. Aside from wet sheets it eventually had no effect on me. And then there was my wife. Early in our marriage Tracey delighted in calling the dog into our room an having her lick my face. As much as the dog slobber, the loud music and the ice had an awaking effect on me…I learned to block it out and go back to sleep.

So when two ten year old boys forget I’m sleeping on the other side of the door and get loud and giggly…I say, “thank you”, to my Dad, my college roommates and my wife for teaching me not HOW to wake up, but how to fall BACK asleep.

Sometimes it takes years for all the pieces to come together. Sometimes the lessons learned are painful, but when they do come together you’re glad you lived and learned.


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