The Charlie Bravo Story

Paradigm shift

Paradigm shift
As the Jude Bear spends every Tuesday at the Casa, often he will spend the night before as well; this is so he can sleep in if he feels the need. And to be totally honest, it gives me the chance to get some writing done before Hurricane Jude makes landfall.
Yesterday morning, I heard him get up to go to the bathroom; that’s odd, as usually he spends a inordinate amount of time upon waking banging on the wall in an poorly-disguised effort to let me know that he’s awake and my period of indentured servitude begins. Also, because if given the option, he would rather start the day by draining the plumbing while enjoying the morning from the back deck; and I have NO idea where he acquired THAT
After a bit, I went in to check on him; he was back up in bed with his toys. But instead of his usual cheerful greeting, I was told “I don’t want you in here”; fair enough, maybe he just needed some time to wake up. I gave him some time, then went back in; again “I don’t want you in here!”.
This would not do. I can put up with almost any amount of tomfoolery from my dogs and/or kids, but what I perceive as a lack of respect will be quickly dealt with. After a “come to Jesus” discussion, we made up. But when I hugged the little goober, I realized that his underwear was a bit dampish; evidently he had had an episode sometime during the night. What I was interpreting as a bit of three-year-old attitude was in fact a manifestation of three-year-old’s misplaced guilt and embarrassment.
But Jude’s been housebroken for quite some time; what could have caused this episode? A piece of the puzzle fell into place a bit later when he told me “Titus helped me be brave last night”. Both Titus and MacDuff have began taking turns sleeping with Jude, and it evidently it was Titus’ watch that night as it was him that I found curled up on the foot of Jude’s bed that morning. So I asked Jude what Titus had helped him be brave about, and his answer? “The closet”.
Whoaaa… the closet was always one of my worst fears as a child, and to be totally honest, I’m not a big fan of closet doors being left open at night even now. When I was just a sprout, I remember seeing something inside my closet that scared or maybe even scarred me to this day. It wasn’t until recently that I heard the term “night terrors” and Googled it, and was shocked to see images of the very being I saw glaring back at me back in 1976. I remember many a sleepless night in my parent’s house, sweating profusely beneath the blankets in the certainty that if I couldn’t see “It”, it couldn’t see me.
Needless to say, these memories completely caused a Paradigm shift in my thinking concerning what I initially perceived as Jude’s insolence. But to take it a step further: how many times a day do I make the same judgements concerning those around me, when I have absolutely no idea as to what they are currently experiencing? Or not considering what is that horrible thing, real or imagined, that is hiding in their closet? And maybe they don’t have their own metaphorical Titus Pullo sleeping at the foot of their bed, “helping them to be brave”.
How about we ease up on each other just a bit? We all need a bit of breathing room to thrive, and it’s difficult to breathe when one is at the bottom of the dog pile.
We be of one blood, ye and I.

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