In Jill's Words

I dedicate this site to my mother. She was a columnist and an author with the uncanny ability to find humor in the daily ins and outs of life. She faced every challenge with a witty optimism, including the cancer that ended her life too soon.

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Location: Boise, Idaho, United States

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Welcome to Becky's Night Terror Fun Land

The older I get, the faster time flies. The faster time flies, the quicker my summer ends. The quicker my summer ends, the sooner my back-to-school anxieties present themselves. My back-to-school anxieties started early this year.

These anxieties usually manifest at night around a week before school begins. I have recurring dreams about losing control in my classroom and throwing erasers at students.

But this year, my nocturnal weirdness kicked in the second week of July. I woke up screaming one night, then whimpered that my right arm hurt. At least that is what my husband, Dan, said. My night terrors are not much more than a fuzzy memory for me most mornings. (Poor Dan.)

Then I had this weird dream about school and our new principal. In this dream, I saw our old principal wandering the building, crying, and waving goodbye to everyone. That same night, I dreamed that my dress was caught by the wind and blown over my head, like I was being exposed, bare naked for the world to see.

In real life, I saw a couple of my students at the farmers' market last weekend and a few of them at the park a few weeks ago. They all still seemed happy to see me, which I took to mean they haven't started hating me over the summer. In fact, one little second grader said, "I can't wait to see you again!"

So I thought, "Okay. That should be the end of it. I saw my students, and it didn't kill me. Now I will concentrate on making the summer last."

That's been my mantra this year. If I "be in the moment," stop and concentrate on the fun stuff, I can prevent the summer from flying by.

But even after these reassuring encounters with my students, I had two more night terrors, another anxious dream about the new principal, and a dream about my throat bleeding and the recent fruit recall at Fred Meyer. (In the dream, my throat started bleeding at Fred Meyer while I was checking out the listeria-infested stone fruits, so, yes, I really did mean to put those last two ideas together.)

This has been the strangest, most sleepless summer I have ever experienced. I hope this year has just been an anomaly and will not worsen with age. I thought you were supposed to mellow as you got older. I know Dan would appreciate it too if this could just be a unique situation. He gets less sleep than I do during Becky's Crazy Night Terror Times.

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