Sleeping is a big problem for most foster children.
Come to think of it, it's a problem for most children.
It's not a new thing either, I can remember lying in bed, landing light on, my bedroom door half open to allow a bit of light. Wide awake, mind alert, listening to all the little noises from downstairs.
Getting afraid of patterns on the wallpaper, shapes and shadows. My mind working overtime.
I never had to sleep in a strange bedroom in a strange house full of strangers. Foster children, their minds must be on double time.
We had one young man stay with us, nearly old enough to leave fostering and get out there in life. He'd been in care for twelve years. Different foster homes, no fault of his own; he was a lovely bloke.
Could he sleep? No chance. He was awake until dawn, every night, whether he had college the next day or not. He would stay up and watch TV in the living room, with the volume very low.
It was a warm summer he was with us, and he had a quirk which stays in my mind, probably will be with me forever.
Every morning when I came downstairs I would have to pick up several upside down glasses from the floor around the downstairs.
Under each one was a house spider, and a note.
The note would say "Appeared 3.50am going from under the sofa towards the fireplace" There'd be an arrow drawn indicating the direction the spider was scurrying when he had put the glass over it.
Each morning I would pick up each glass with the note underneath it, flip the glass so the spider was in the bottom, then take it outside and drop the spider onto the garden.
His quirk really got me thinking.
Nobody I know likes spiders. They spook me wherever they show up, whatever type of spider. It's the big ones with spindly legs that do about 15mph that make me go "EEEEK!" Nowadays most people don't like killing them though, so lots of us put a glass over them and slide something underneath, flip the glass and drop them out the window. I hate even having a glass of spider in my hand, and find myself half running to get rid of it fast as I can.
But the thing is; nobody I know is tuned into how the spider feels about having its busy life suddenly put under glass and a report written about its activity before being transported somewhere strange and made to get with a new life for no fault of their own.
Interesting that the lad couldn't bring himself to do the transporting bit.
Bit of profound behaviour by him if you think about it.
I hope he's alright, I heard wind from a previous carer of his he's going along fine.
I wish him a good night's sleep.
I wish them all a good night's sleep.