When I think of pajamas, I think of comfort. I think of being young and worry-free. Of feeling protected and happy. Secure and loved. Relaxed and warm on a cold winter's night. Safe from the harshness of the world outside.
I remember a particular day, when I was in middle school. I had an after-school activity that day and took the late bus home. Since I lived a couple of houses down from the bus driver, I had to ride all over the south side of town before coming home. I didn't mind the ride, but it was nice to finally get home. It was a cold day, a couple of weeks before Christmas. I remember changing into my pajamas and sitting down on my bed to read. I took a moment to reflect on how I felt -- the house was warm, my mother was cooking dinner and the air smelled delicious, there was Christmas music playing in the living room, and my brother and stepfather must have been somewhere else, because it was so quiet and peaceful. I felt so comfortable and so at peace. I haven't had many moments like that in my life, but I will tell you, that was the best feeling ever. It was just a random day, but that feeling is one of my best memories.
I'm having a tough time this year, and some days when I come home, all I want to do is put on my pajamas and curl up into a ball on the couch. I just want to hide away from the world and be safe and comfortable. I want that feeling of relaxation and peace again. I want someone else to have to be the adult so I don't have to deal with everything.
In some ways, life still seems like it did in middle school. I'm still the one who's always left out, ignored, treated like I am unimportant. It still hurts. I try to be kind, not just because I want to be treated kindly in return, but because I truly care about others. But I guess I try too hard, I am too awkward, I am not assertive, I am not good enough in so many ways. I'm still struggling to find where it is I fit in, what my purpose here is. I'm working very hard to gain some self-esteem and think more positively. I'm still trying to fill those voids in my heart. I'm doing much better than I did back then, and I am making some big changes, but I still have too many days when I feel like I cannot handle things. But I can always come home to be comfortable again. I was lucky to have a warm, safe home as a child, and I am lucky to still have that as an adult.
These days, when I go home, I help my son get into his pajamas. Nice, soft, warm, fleece pajamas. We snuggle up and I read him stories and we rock in the rocking chair. I hope he feels safe and relaxed and loved, and that he always will. I know I must work on my own issues so I will be able to provide him with warm, peaceful memories and a happy home. The world may be a harsh place, but I hope my home will be a safe haven -- full of that amazing feeling of peace, and cozy as a pair of fleece pajamas.
(On the lighter side, I've already completed the prompt "5.) Your top 5 favorite Christmas songs" here, and here. Merry Christmas, everyone!)