His senses were dulled, his mind numb.
It’s been too long. Why hasn’t anyone come to get him yet? If this was another training exercise he will have to reconsider exactly what-it-is that stops him from quitting this team.
“I don’t need them,” is supposed to come out of his lips at this point, but it never does.
Is it because his head feels like it’s full of jelly, or is it because he truly doesn’t believe those words. Either way, he has been half-awake for far too long. If he is going to face the challenges of tomorrow, sleep will be absolutely necessary. The only problem was that this is exactly what he has been telling himself for the past 3 hours. It sounds good in theory, but why isn’t it happening?
Fine. Time to face the problem head on. It’s another training exercise.
What were his instructions again? Enter an arena you have never been in before. Enter it without anybody you know, anybody you trust, or even anybody you know enough not to trust. Enter it alone. And alone he will enter, positive that it is all he will ever be.
The only other instruction? Listen.
This one almost seemed more emphasized than the first. Listen no matter what and at all costs. The person that is not you, is right. Oh, this was made abundantly clear. So clear that he was purposely staying up an extra 3 hours to remind himself of this most important instruction. There, that was the reason he couldn’t sleep. He was practicing.
Practicing freaking out.
It happened without him even knowing, and it happened shortly after that last thought. Sleep came, and unbeknownst to him, sleep came after 3 minutes of tossing and turning, not 3 hours. His thoughts became one with the night and the day before him awaited with a patience grace.
The challenging day knows when to arrive and what to do. It’s coming no matter what.
Right on cue the day came, and not only did he pass his challenge with flying colors, he decided that he wants more. He wants back into the arena he was desperately trying to avoid last night. Somehow he forgot about the instructions regarding having fun, making new friends, and playing with new and exciting toys. He forgot about how exciting the school bus was rumored to be, he forgot about being told that his teacher is awesome.
Turns out, kindergarten is fun.
Just like Mommy and Daddy said it would be.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 9/15/12.