There are wonderful things about being a parent. The watching of milestones surpassed, the loving smile your child will give you when stress riddles your world, and even the hug that you weren’t expecting can turn your frown upside down.
Parenting is a beautiful thing. Yes, a beautiful thing that can quickly turn sideways without you even noticing the shift.
Ever since the kids were infant babes I have always left a little time before bed to go in and watch them in their slumber, and still do to this day. Funny how certain things just become customary.
Well, one particular evening, I was ready to admit myself to the pillow but first went to check on my lovely little darlings.
Sophie was huddled neatly in her bed, snoring loudly, and looking content.
I turn the corner to check on Lars, but upon arriving in his room my heart skipped a beat. No child in the bed. I get from the doorframe to his bed in two rapid bounds and find that he is huddled in a small sitting position on the floor in a dark corner of the room.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of believing in scary things…I usually just like to assume that scary things in general do not exist. I will turn a blind eye to the mysterious, I will shrug off the supernatural, and I will simply chuckle in the face of impending danger as though nothing is wrong at all. I like to simply ignore the terrors of this world, because in all truthfulness I am a sucker for anything scary. And I’ve found out that since becoming ‘Mom’ I can’t afford to be fearful of every little thing.
But this, this spectacle of my child bunched in the corner, eyes wide open, gazing me down with that perplexing 100 mile stare gave me a chill that allowed the hairs on the back of my neck to stand erect and that same chill to run down the entirety of my spine.
Sleepwalking has always been a bothersome thing to me, my brother Dustin, has slept-walked from the day he could…Well, walk. So as a young kid, I dealt with this plight nightly, as he would meander into my room dozily and I would awake to him standing ominously over my face staring me down with one of the creepiest smiles one could ever muster up. Either that or he would come barging into my room in the darkest hours of night, screaming bloody murder (literally) assuring me that if we did not get out of the house this instant we would die a painful and excruciating death from the demon that now shadows him.
Marvellous things to wake up to in the middle of the night.
So needless to say, as I began walking towards my son who was looking not at all like himself in the twilight illumination that glowed through his window, it was with great trepidation that I made myself move forward.
“Babe? What are you doing out of bed?” I knew he was sleeping as I could tell he didn’t register the words I had just said.
Something startled him though, because his arms instantly projected outwards in front of him while his hands immobilized to a talon-like position. His head jerked from side to side, in the likeness of a bird looking for food, and his eyes shot through me- close to how I assume a laser beam would shatter fine china.
“Sweetie, let’s get back to bed…” I know better than to startle him awake, this is not the first time I have dealt with my son sleepwalking. I try to wrap my arms around the kid to comfort him but his arms explode in fury when I come closer. He is now engaging in this karate chopping motion to assure my distance. And it’s working only because I am too frightened to come up with a solution at this moment.
He is mumbling gibberish and in my panicked state all I hear is my 5 year old son talking in the tongues of the damned.
I snap, break, reach the end of the thread in which I was dangling on to.
“Lars!!! What are you doing? STOP!” I grab him and hold him tight even though I know this is the last thing you are supposed to do. I begin stroking his messy hair, in an attempt to calm his nerves as much as mine.
He freezes, stiff solid- and then slowly turns his head in the utmost of foreboding ways and looks directly into my eyes and says in a near hiss, “If you wanted me in bed, you should have just put me there.”
“Uh…Okay, well will you go to bed now Babe?” I ask, now the tears of terror that had been welling up in my eyes have finally begun to flood my face.
“Yes, Mama, I will go to bed.”
And with that, the child makes his own way to the bed, closes his eyes and falls deep into dreams.
Yes, parenting is a wondrous and beautiful thing. A job that is humbling and not for the weak of mind or the faint of heart. And occasionally it is horrifying and downright daunting…But somebody has to do it, even when it comes to the things that go bump in the night.