Sometimes I feel like I'm just one post away from running all of you off, I really do. And this is one of those posts. So do I proceed? Do I throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out, despite my fear of losing you? Isn't honesty what this process is all about? Or do I self-censor and post something more safe, like a photo of a box full of testicles or a recording of my burping the National Anthem?
Oh, what the heck. I guess I'll proceed and pray you don't leave me forever.
I received the following note from Becky, shortly after she read the story I wrote about her the other day:
"You forgot to mention that the very few times I did make it through the entire night, we both would pee all over each other and make a giant friendship circle of pee on the sheets. We could have cared less and were not the slight bit embarrassed!"
Confession #1: Okay, yes. I neglected to mention in my story the very few times that Becky did make it through a full night in my house. There were maybe two or three. I should have been fully forthright and honest, but really, what I mostly remember are the times she crumbled and went home.
Confession #2: Okay, yes. Becky and I used to wet the bed like racehorces, if racehorses slept in beds. Those of you who did not wet the bed or have never lived with a bedwetter will not understand this. Please stop reading now. Those of you who did or have will jump for joy that someone else out there did it, too. And boy, howdy, did we ever do it.
Becky and I wet the bed. Becky's younger sister wet the bed, as did my younger sister, Wetsy - hence the nickname. The four of us have tried for dear life to analyze and figure out the possible connections behind this bizarre phenomenon, how four children from two different families could wet the bed so regularly and unabashedly for the better part of their childhood.
I've actually considered that there could have been something in the water in the small town where our four parents grew up. They were all friends in high school, and I wonder if there was some toxin or metal in the water supply that affected the genetic make-up of the town residents' offspring's musculature that affected bladder control. 'Course, the issue really wasn't bladder control (we were perfectly able to hold it during daylight hours), so perhaps the water toxin affected the genetic make-up of the town residents' offspring's sleep areas of the brain, the areas that affect how deeply a human sleeps. I've always been told bedwetting is more a matter of depth of sleep than weakness of bladder, that some children simply lack the ability to be awakened by the urge to go.
I should point out that this theory of mine has a fatal flaw - that neither my older brother nor Becky's older sister wet the bed. So either the mutation doesn't begin to manifest itself until after the first gestation, or, more likely, this theory is dead in the water.
But then I pondered our mothers' treatment of this little, um, problem. At no time in all the years we flooded our beds do I remember either of our moms really protesting all that much. One would imagine at least one of them would have had at least of smidgen of a problem with having to change and wash sheets every day of their life, but they just didn't. There were heavy-duty plastic mattress protectors on all the beds (they were smart women), and I guess they reckoned no permanent harm was being done. Having four children myself, none of whom seem to have inherited this urinary idiosyncracy, I can't begin to imagine being that laid back about something so unpleasant. So was their casual approach actually part of the problem itself? Did they effectively enable our bedwetting? If they had strung us up by our bladders and beaten us a little more - or hung one of the urine-soaked sheets out of our bedroom window for all the neighbors to see - would we have been jolted into sleeping just a little less deeply, just enough to ensure we'd awaken and make it to the bathroom?
Speaking of enabling, there was the issue of the four of us exclusively spending the night at each other's homes because we knew we could wet the bed without consequence. (See Becky's note above.) Our worst fear was to spend the night at a non-bedwetting friend's house and flood their bed and have to explain that we weren't freaks, that we were nice, normal girls from nice, normal neighborhoods who had sweet but pee-permissive moms who didn't really mind it, so why should they, and besides, something might have been in the water supply where they grew up so it's really not our fault anyway?
Some things are better left unsaid.
This fear of ours was well-earned, by the way. When I muster up the courage, I'll share that unfortunate tale with you. It isn't pretty.