I walk like my dad.
I got up in the middle of the night last night to answer the call of nature. That in itself is really not that blog-worthy, cuz it happens more than I’d care to admit. I’m at that point in life where I lay there trying to decide if it’s urgent enough to actually make it worthwhile to my back to get out of bed, or if I can convince my bladder that it can wait until morning when we have to get up anyway. Well last night the bladder won out, so I got my backside up out of bed and managed to get mostly straightened up for the journey. As I was navigating my way to the facilities in my sleepwear (let’s see you get that image out of your head!) I realized that I had seen that picture before, only from a different point of view.
When I was young, if you weren’t feeling well in the middle of the night, you’d go into mom and dad’s room and stand by the bed until one of them up woke up, and then you could let them know that you didn’t feel good. The question of “did you throw up?” was the usual response, which I would later come to realize is a parent’s way of saying “please tell me I don’t need to get out of bed and go clean up something gross”.
After unofficially informing them that if you weren’t sleeping neither were they, you were usually sent with a blanket to sleep on the couch.
There were 11 kids in my family, so sleeping space was a valuable commodity. The most prime sleeping spot was on the couch, but you only got that one under extenuating circumstances. There’s something magically healing about being able to sleep on the couch when you’re sick. I’d have to say that in my house, sleeping on the couch is the most important part of the healing ritual, which also includes chicken soup (of course), Gatorade and tapioca pudding.
The only better spot would be in mom and dad’s bed, where you got to stay during the day if you were sick enough to stay home from school.
I remember seeing the soft glow of the fire from the gas furnace across the room (heat was a premium commodity too) and falling asleep under a nice warm blanket on the couch. And then the inevitable site of my dad walking through the living room on his way to the facilities. There was something comforting and unbelievably not disturbing in seeing that old man being human. The half-asleep stumble, the reach down to scratch… the belly. Quite a site in a t-shirt and boxer/briefs (just in case you’d gotten over the image of me in my jammies).
As I straightened out my back and made my way across my bedroom in my own half-asleep stumble in my t-shirt and boxer/briefs (it just won’t stop), I had a little flashback to my dad walking that same walk. And I found something in that to be comforting and unbelievably not disturbing.
I hate that I walk like an old man.
But the fact that I walk like my old man… well, I’m OK with that.