Sleeping in a Wrong Direction

Aaron got up early on Saturday morning, headed straight to the shower……which is surprising…….and then came slowly downstairs to find me in the kitchen.  I told him good morning and he immediately answered, “My back is sore.”  I smile, not because Aaron’s back is sore but because he rarely returns our greetings in the appropriate way.  This morning his sore back is of utmost importance to him, so therefore he thinks that it should also be of utmost importance to Mom.

I assured Aaron that I was sorry about his back, which prompted him to continue.  “I was sleeping in a wrong direction……..kind of bent,” he said.  I expressed more concern, and he added, “I wasn’t in a normal kind of sleeping way.”  As he got ready to eat some cereal, we talked about why we don’t always lay in a normal kind of sleeping way and that this sometimes causes a bent back, and then a sore back.  Aaron wanted an answer to this dilemma, and he also wanted to talk it to death.  Typical Aaron. 

We later went outside, where Aaron relaxed in the mulch with his coffee and his mulch trash can.  I sat nearby on the porch glider, wondering how Aaron’s back felt as he sat there all bent over…………. but I was not wanting to bring up his back issues again.  He talked and talked about many other things as we drank our coffee, and as I wondered what the people in the passing cars were thinking about this grown young man hunched over under the tree in the mulch.   Aaron does make us a rather unique family, for sure.


When Aaron finally stood up from under the tree, he was a little stiff.  This reminded him of his aching back, so he said, “My back is sore.  I should not have slept bent.”  Here we go again, I thought.  I knew that Aaron was going to discuss his bent, sore back all day.  Later, when he decided to lay down for a quick nap, he told me that he was going to try not to sleep bent.  And then when he woke up, he was happy that he had slept in a straight way and not a bent way.

We went to Wal-Mart soon after his nap, and as we were in front of the store………….in the crosswalk, of course……….Aaron was continuing his sore, bent back story and decided right then and there to demonstrate just what he meant by sleeping bent.  “You know, Mom…..I was sleeping like this!”   And I looked over to see him bent sideways in the middle of the crosswalk, as if he was doing side bends for an exercise class.  I wondered if someone watching on the security camera was either laughing or sitting up straighter as they tried to figure out what this unusual young man was doing in the middle of the cross walk………..not to mention what all the people milling around thought.   Oh well.  I just walked on as I told Aaron to quit bending and to come in the store.  I’m pretty much a pro at this embarrassing business.

Yesterday morning Aaron got up and came downstairs once again.  “Mom!  Finally I slept straight!”    Yay, Aaron!  But he wasn’t totally cured, I found out, as he continued by telling me that his back still hurt some.  He launched right in to what it means to sleep straight as opposed to sleeping bent…………and why we sometimes sleep bent………..and how to make sure we sleep straight…………and why sleeping bent produces sore backs.   Every little detail of sleeping straight and sleeping bent had to be gone over and over with Aaron. 

He ended by saying, “I can’t make my back go away from hurting!”  I laughed and I assured him that with time his back would indeed go away from hurting.  It’s hard to tell with Aaron how much of this constant talk is a ploy for attention, and how much is just his usual way of talking about every issue of his life until there could not possibly be another word to say……….but with Aaron there are always more words to say, even if he’s already said them many times.  He took me seriously in home school as I told my kids that repetition is the key to learning.  Man, did he ever!

I can happily say that this morning I dared to ask him how his back was feeling.  He answered by saying that it felt better today.  It took him a few seconds to answer and I was holding my breath.  I think that perhaps we have moved beyond his bent back and that it has finally gone away from hurting.

I’m waiting for the next issue that he wants to talk about and to demonstrate.  I just hope it’s not in the middle of the Wal-Mart cross walk!

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