The warm water cascaded down my body easing my sore muscles from my high intensity workout with Steven. I was going to enjoy this shower. Screams and thumping sounds broke my reverie. It’s ok, as a mom I have learned to tune out annoying noises. The kids knew I was in the shower. I told them I was anyway. How soon they forget.
“Mom! Mom! (something unintelligible) Door! MOM! (something unintelligible) DOOR!”
Despite my better judgment my heart started pounding. The water muffled the needs of my 3 year old daughter. The fact that she was outside my bedroom didn’t help. As fast as my heart was pounding, my mind started racing as well. I imagined she was trying to get my attention to tell me someone was at the front door. Oh how I hoped that wasn’t true. What if the kids were perched on the couch peering through the front room blinds at the Bogeyman? And he somehow got in the house and was stealing or mercilessly murdering my children before walking out with a laptop?
Nobody came in to rape me, giving me the impression that the kids were the target of nefarious deeds. I rushed through what was supposed to be a long, relaxing shower. Does it make me a bad person if I admit that I still shaved? The rational part of my brain kept whispering that maybe just maybe all Gwen said was, “Mom, Parker slammed his door!” Vanity was willing to take that chance.
Just as I was rinsing the conditioner out of my hair the insistent cries of my 5 year old pierced my newly calmed heart. This time there was no explanation offered. Just my name screamed repeatedly and insistently until I finally shut off the water and stepped out.
“What’s going on?”
“Gwen called me ‘stupid’ and stuck her tongue out at me!”
You can imagine the tongue lashing I gave him as I grabbed my towel. For a second I almost wished the Bogeyman had taken my children, or at least their father would come home early from the youth activity that, in my opinion, should have been canceled due to steady rain. It was the second strike to my morning. The first being when the boys had temporary amnesia and woke me up after they promised me they wouldn’t. Don’t they know that waking up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning is not allowed? Of course their screeching giggles woke up Gwen who, like me, could have used another hour or two of sleep.
* * *
Heath and I headed upstairs to bed. We laughed at how nobody ever turned on the front lights. Oh well, who needs to be friendly and neighborly? My head hit the pillow and I was out for the count. Sometime in the middle of the night I noticed lights as I turned over in bed. This scene played over and over several times. It never occurred to me that visible lights are abnormal in the middle of the night. If I had a conscious thought at all about the lights I assumed the kids had their bedroom lights on.
Around a quarter to 5:00 am I turned over and saw the lights again. Thoughts started to form in my mind. The kids rooms are down the hall. Our bed is tucked back in a corner of the room where a wall provides a decent amount of privacy. The bed faces away from the direction of the kids rooms. If the kids had lights on there would be no way I could see it from the bed.
Thump . . . thump . . . thump thump thump thumpthumpthumpthump. My heart rate sped up. Was someone in the house? I can have pretty crazy dreams but I knew I had seen lights on many times in the night and passed it off as nothing. My hand reached over and firmly rested on Heath’s shoulder.
“There are lights on downstairs.”
He was out of bed in record time to go downstairs and explore. By then my heart was in my throat as I imagined some of the more colorful scenes in the book Cold as Ice. Without even thinking I climbed out of bed and stepped over the baby gate in our doorway. Gwen’s light was on and her door was shut. She was passed out in bed so I turned off the light and shut the door. When I walked toward the stairs I heard the hum of the “sleeping” computer. It was a relief to know that the Bogeyman hadn’t been in our house to rob us. If he did he missed the one thing that was worth anything! He also didn’t steal Gwen. Hmm.
“It must have been a kid, we’ll talk to them in the morning,” was Heath’s report. I still worried because before the sun starts peeking over the horizon I live in a neurotic world where the Bogeyman is possible. Ok, ok, he exists during showers too and any time I start to lose more marbles. This isn’t about my mind though. This is about weird coincidences that kind of add up to unsavory. This is about the gripping fear that only parents know, however irrational that fear may be. This is about how illogical fear makes parents when they can’t see the whole picture!
My blood sugar was dropping. I tried to ignore it and just go back to sleep but I could feel it slowly drop. Thirty minutes passed with no sleeping success. Then 45 minutes passed. I didn’t feel low but I could feel my blood sugar dropping and all I could think of was Bill Engvall saying that sometimes at night the floor seems like it’s covered with snakes. He freely admits he would rather wet himself to avoid dealing with that middle of the night irrationality. I finally convinced myself I would be safe enough to check my blood sugar in my bathroom. The real trick would be if I was low I would have to brave the downstairs that had been lit up like a Christmas tree for half the night. I was 118 so I ate two glucose tabs by the side of my bed and finally fell asleep complete with bizarre dreams!
When we talked to the kids about what happened during the night, this is what we got. Please excuse the mess.
Illogical logic must run in the family.