I’m alone in the house overnight with only two kids, three and under. This hasn’t happened since, 2004 or something. My oldest two are off camping in Upstate New York with their father, and #3 is spending the night with her grandparents. The youngest two went to bed by 8:30 and now the house is blissfully quiet.
How to celebrate?? I could watch a movie, read a book, eat the kid’s candy; the possibilities are endless. But ultimately, what I’ll wind up doing is tossing in turning in bed half the night worrying and fretting about all sorts of horrific calamities.
I can’t help it. I’ve always had an overactive imagination. It’s great for impromptu story times, not so great after watching say, “The Ring.” I was in my mid-twenties when I saw that movie and seven days after I saw it, I was terrified every time I woke up at night and had to walk past the TV to get to the bathroom to pee. It got to where I formed a strategy in my head so that if/when the girl appeared I would close my eyes, jump on her head and beat her with a children’s book (hardback of course) in order to protect my sleeping newborn and unsuspecting husband. (You don’t even want to know what happened the time I watched “The Shining” the weekend I was home alone in high school.)
Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m not scared of fictional horror movie characters when I’m at home alone…usually. I’m dwelling on more serious matters, like the possibility of a horrible car accident on the way home from the camping trip that leaves me a widow and without two children. That was the scenario that kept playing over and over in my head last night (mixed in with a fear of this being the weekend someone decides to break into our house and steal our priceless heirlooms…of which there are none.) Becoming a widow is my number one fear. Every time my husband is late from work, away at late night adoration, out with the guys-anything, I’m convinced he’s been cut down in the prime of his life and I’ve been left alone. Laying alone in the dark, blanket pulled up to my ears, I started making a mental list of my job skills, experience and whether or not I would keep the house or sell. When I started thinking about seeking out a potential sugar daddy, I knew it was time to start saying my prayers and really try to go to sleep.
And zombies. Every shadow on the wall looked like a zombie staggering down the hall. And I had to think, do I just yell to wake up Edie, or do I go and get her, or do I try to get to the shotgun first? What if there’s more downstairs? How quickly can I reload? What if the zombie apocalypse is upon us? They’ve got limited cell phone service in Upstate New York; Tony and the kids are doomed!!!
Last but not least, I almost got out of bed and tested the smoke detectors. What if this is the night all that shoddy wiring goes kaput and catches these tinderbox walls on fire? Maybe I should put pajama pants on.
Needless to say, it was a fitful nights sleep. I awoke at dawn and was glad to see the sun streaming in on the bed and not a serial rapist hovering over me with a dagger, which is what I convinced myself would be there if I breathed too loudly and took the covers off my head too soon.
I’m hoping tonight goes better, though I’m pretty sure I can feel strangers watching me through the windows as I type. And damnit ever since The Crescat wrote about her fear of mirrors years ago, I’ve been unable to look in a mirror, or any reflective surface, after dark. I’m pretty sure the Candy Man or Bloody Mary herself is in there waiting for me if I so much as take a casual glance.
I do miss my kids and especially my husband. Without him here, there’s no one to check on that weird sound downstairs (watch out for booby traps!) or hide behind when Jason Voorhees shows up. Thankfully he’s patient with me and only has amorous thoughts when I snuggle in close to avoid imminent death. Yes, our bed feels big and empty and downright dangerous without him here.
I’d better wrap it up so I can start locking and re-locking all the doors. What was that sound?! Oh wait, just my stomach. Good grief, Sunday can’t come soon enough. St. Giles, pray for me!
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