I’m not exactly sure about the facts surrounding this story. Age and time have a way of distorting reality so I have to explain that these are just my memories, not necessarily truths.
When I was a little girl, there MIGHT have been some issues with me sleeping. Not exactly with the sleeping part, really, but more with the staying in my bedroom during the night part. I don’t remember being scared about anything in particular or feeling lonely. I just remember that there was a small, girl-sized patch of street lamp that shone in the hallway outside my room. I liked to lay down in that light. A lot. I don’t remember being comfortable, lying there in the hall. The floor was hard. I do remember being cold, often times. But I just felt peaceful, laying in that light. Then one morning, after being placed back in my bed again (by my dad who would have nearly stepped on my sleeping self when he exited his room) my Mom had an idea. An excellent idea that would keep me (safely) in my own room.
It was a bracelet. Gold, maybe? Can’t really remember the particulars. But I was to put it on my wrist before bed and if I awoke, I should remember that my bracelet was on, that I was safe, and I should go back to bed. Simple, yet totally effective. I remember feeling this “A-ha!” moment of, “Okay, well, there’s the answer to that!” I clearly remember thinking that in the same way my Mom would make sure I understood how to sound out a word, or tie my shoes, or give me medicine to heal an illness, I could trust her to give me the solution to waking up at night. I know that I felt relief. I’m sure there were still other lamp-lit slumbers in the hallway after that, but I believe they were much fewer. I also remember thinking that I’d tuck away the bracelet idea in my mind and someday use it with my own kids.
And here I am, later, and with kids of my own.
Our family’s bracelets have all been of different styles, as have all the kids. A few have been lost or broken over the years (bracelets people, not kids), only to be replaced by another acceptable version. But each time, the bracelet serves the same purpose and offers the wearer peace, rest, and comfort.
It seems like a silly idea. Maybe even too simple to work. But work it does. When each child has outgrown the need for the bracelet any longer, they bring it to me and that’s the end. A lovely tradition that this Mama has begun to savor, as it disappears as quickly as it appears.