So, I am kind of a scaredy cat. Okay, I’m lying; I am a total scaredy cat! It happens because I over think everything. I dream about the perfect scenario and then my mind does a somersault, and I am stuck somewhere between reality and a hellish-dimension of “what if.”
Because of this paranoia, I cannot watch scary movies. You will not see me pulling up The Exorcist, End of Days, or Blair Witch Project anytime soon on The Que. Yes, I have seen these movies, and countless others for that matter, but I do everything in my power not to think about them.
It has gotten to the point where I cannot watch anything even remotely dark. A few years back Tom made me watch The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, and I had nightmares for weeks. I have pretty much decided I need to live out my days in the land of humor and good drama.
All that being admitted, Tom is traveling for a few days for work. He has traveled before, and usually I am so very busy and so very tired that I do not have time to allow my mind to go to a dark place. Usually, by the time I get the kids ready for bed, make lunches, do some laundry, and any necessary household chores, I hit the pillow and fall into a deep angelic sleep.
However, yesterday, Lizzie and Maggie were ill and missed school. Lizzie had not broken her fever before she went to bed, so I knew there was a chance she would not go to school again today. Because I was probably going to have to miss work today, I did a little extra laundry and stayed awake to watch a DVR’d episode of The Americans. I knew I would not have to wake at 5:30 AM as I was originally planning, but at a leisurely 6:30 AM to get the other two off to school.
Anyway, Lizzie went to sleep at 8:30PM. At 9:30 PM, she awoke sweaty and uneasy. I knew she needed some place cooler to sleep, so I sent her into our bedroom. We basically live in the attic, so on top of the whole house air conditioning that pumps into our room, we have a room air conditioner to additionally help cool our room. Also, with Tom out-of-town, our king bed would be plenty of room for the two of us.
At 11:00 PM she was complaining of a headache and wanted water. At 11:30 PM when I went up to join her in our bed, she was fitful but asleep. I crawled in on my side and tried to doze off. To no avail.
At 12:15 AM, she sat up.
“Lizzie, are you okay?” I asked.
“I want to sleep in my bed,” she said groggily. She grabbed her blanket and went downstairs. Our dog Linus followed. He usually sleeps with me in our room, but I have noticed that when one of the kids is sick, he likes to lie on their floor and watch over them.
Again, I tried to doze.
At 1:05 AM, Linus barked. It wasn’t a meager “Woof Woof” either. It was a full force-I-am-creating-fear “Wooooooof! Woof-Woof-Woof-Woof- Woooooooooof!”
I jumped. And then I panicked. What if someone was trying to get in the house? What if someone was outside one of the doors? What if someone was somehow in the house and Linus was warning me? My mind immediately went to that made for TV movie from the eighties where the babysitter does not realize there is a second line in the house and someone keeps pranking her about killing her and the kids, but the guy is actually in the house and is ready to bludgeon her to death.
Of course, I flipped on my room light and the hall light and tore down the steps. I checked all three girls. They were all sleeping peacefully. Linus was standing in the living room staring at me, wagging his tail. “What? Why did you bark like that?” I asked him. I wanted an answer, and I wanted it now! He ran to the side door; he wanted to go out.
Now, my next fear came alive. Linus had barked because he had heard an intruder, and he himself wanted to investigate. My fear was that the intruder was lurking in the shadows between my car and the neighbor’s house, and the second I opened the side door, he would storm my little fortress with an oozie or a machete and immediately kill me.
I flipped on the kitchen lights, the other hall light, and the outside light before I even thought about opening the door. I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer to God to keep us safe. I opened the door quickly and with determination, maybe to surprise my would-be assailant and warn him that I was not afraid.
Needlesstosay, no one was there. I hooked Linus to his chain, and he went in the backyard and did his business. Two minutes later, he came back in, looked at me, and headed up the steps. It was time for bed and all.
I turned out all of the lights, returned to my room, and pretty much slept with one eye open for the rest of the night. Like I said, I am a scaredy cat. Hopefully, the exhaustion will kick in and I will get a good nights sleep tonight.