Friday, June 29, 2012

Nightlights and Noise

I was laying in bed tonight, trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep, and decided to just give up.  It's one of those nights when I've stayed up too late and I'm the last person in the house awake.  I hate that.  It's so late that all the little lamps that we have sprinkled around the house and set on timers, have all turned off.  The outside flood lights (also on timers) have all turned off.  The dishwasher has completely run through its entire cycle and there's no comforting noise of water running anymore.  It's way too quiet and way too dark for me tonight.  

I've never been a huge fan of complete darkness or complete silence.  

When I was a little girl, I remember falling asleep to the sound of my parents' TV blaring long after they had fallen asleep.  It was comforting to have that noise in the background...until about 3:00am when it would wake me up and I would wander into their room to turn it off and then have to walk all the way across the hall in complete darkness, and try to fall asleep again.  My parents were the "early to bed, early to rise" types.  They were morning people through and through.  They were usually sound asleep by 9:00pm and up before 5:00am having coffee and deeply engaged in conversation.  I always woke up to the sound of my parents' voices in their bedroom...or the smell of breakfast from the kitchen.  

On the weekends, when we lived in California, my older brother and his family would drive from their house in San Diego to our house in Vista, and spend the weekend with us.  There was always tons of food, singing, ukulele music, more food, football and wrestling on TV, and Clash of the Titans on HBO (that movie was on every single day!)  I always loved the noise and activity during those weekends, and the comfort of going to sleep in a house filled with people.   
My mom and my brother singing Hawaiian songs
My parents had an RV that they loved taking out on the weekends, and once, we all went "camping" parents, my grandmother, my two brothers and me.   (My brothers are 20 years older than adopted mom's twin boys from a previous marriage before she met my dad.  And this was in the 80s, so they were in their 30s when we went on this camp out.)  The thing slept 8, but it was a tight squeeze. I was on the top "bunk."  There was a brother in the bed below me.  My parents were in the two hide-a-beds.  My grandmother was in the bed that we made by lowering the kitchen table and unfolding the seat cushions over it.  And another brother was on a sleeping bag on the floor between my parents.  It was definitely more togetherness than we had ever experienced, but we had SO much fun.  My mom had brought some children's books with us so that I would have something to read, and she decided to pull one out of the basket and read us a bedtime story.  The whole thing was so completely mom reading fairy tales to her entire family while we were stuffed in that little RV together...and we all totally got the giggles.  I went to sleep that night with all the lights on, listening to my brothers and my mom still reading and laughing.  

that's the RV in the background, but this was a different trip
my mom and my brothers
Last week at Girls Camp was kind of like that for me...absolute comfort and security in that cabin with 20 other people.  I went to sleep every night in a room filled with little flashlights and the sound of girls talking and giggling well into the night.   I always think that the middle of a family party would be my ideal place to fall asleep...which is kind of what Girls Camp was...tons of happy people who love each other, having a great time, and making lots of noise.  Bliss...

I miss all those noisy family parties and long weekends.  And I miss going camping in that RV.  I'm so grateful for the love that my parents had for all of us, and for the fun things we experienced together.  And I'm grateful that I was up late tonight thinking about them.

And now it's time to turn off all the lights and walk all the way down the dark hallway in complete silence...ugh!


  1. I just read this on my phone, at 11:55 pm when it's totally dark and I'm the only one awake and the only noise is the air conditioner! Even the little guest doggie we're tending has gone to sleep in her kennel. So it's both ironic and lovely to be reading this blog post tonight. I will never forget when you said one day "Hey.... My brother has a twin!" OK, it's really hard to do this comment on an iPhone, so I'm quitting now. G'night!

  2. Love you friend! I'm so happy you remember all the crazy things I've ever said. :)