This is a telling picture from my life, but you might not know it at first glance. At the time this picture was taken, third grade for me, I had trouble sleeping through the night. I can see that history in my little boy face.
The picture was taken in my room in our first house in Omaha, the city where I was born. I’m sitting on my double bed, a size I wanted in order to hold all of my stuffed animals. I was a HUGE hockey fan and the New York Rangers were my favorite team, as evidenced by the sweatshirt (it always bugged me that my sweatshirt didn’t match the team jerseys, btw). As a family, we raised rabbits so there were often baby bunnies to play with. And that pair of pants is memorable for the baseball patches on the knees.
As an adult reflecting back on my sleeping challenge and its impact on me, it became one of the most formative experiences of my life. From it, I believe, I developed a great deal of empathy, especially for childhood pain.