Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Lepidopterophobia

Last night (after already being up with the baby, mind you), I was yanked from my sleep by a piercing, panicked shriek. I popped right out of bed and dashed out of my room.

A child had obviously been to visit the bathroom (the light was on) so I poked my head around the door frame. Zoë saw me, jumped and screamed again, and then fell on the floor sobbing.

"What is it?" I asked, pulling her back up.

"THERE!"she wailed, shakily pointing toward the stairs. "There was a... There was a..."

At this point my heart was racing and I was feeling rather jittery myself. Spit it out, child! WHAT WAS IT?!


Our front door is located at the bottom of the stairs and there is a window that you can see from the stairs, so I was terrified of what her answer would be. Probably because one evening—at about this time of year, though several years ago—I had gotten up to nurse baby Benjamin in the middle of the night. Our blinds could be opened traditionally from the bottom to the top or they could be opened from the top to the bottom, allowing light to come in from the top of the window but essentially maintaining your privacy.

We had been keeping ours open at the top because I liked the natural light coming through the windows in the morning. And we backed into a forest, so it's not like we were overly concerned with privacy. Still, we lived in Durham...which...is Durham...and there were several sketchy crimes that happened in our area while we lived there.

Anyway, I had finished nursing Benjamin, returned him to his bassinet, and then turned around to walk back to my bed when I saw a face in my window.

I woke Andrew up and was so freaked out we actually ended up calling the police (they came to search our yard but didn't find anything (or anyone), though they did note that with the water barrel placed where it was someone could have climbed onto it to peek through the window.

But, like, why?!

It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. But then I've also spent the past several years second-guessing myself. Had I only seen my reflection? Guys, I don't even know what's possible or what happened. I just know that it was super scary (but I'm easily scared, so...).

Anyway, here we were again, facing a window (still without blinds) that stares directly up the stairs to where I was standing with my petrified child in the middle of the night.

"It's alright," I said, stroking her hair soothingly. "What was it?"

"It was a...a...a...BUTTERFLY!" she wailed.

My entire body relaxed with relief and I pulled poor, shaking Zoë into my arms.

So there wasn't a burglar or serial killer or bear (or alligator) or anything remotely terrifying lurking around our house. Rather, there was a sizable tulip tree beauty moth fluttering around the house (which I already knew about because Benjamin had left a door open earlier in the evening and after unsuccessfully chasing it from our house it "attacked" Miriam in the basement (she also screamed) and then, I suppose, migrated upstairs to tango with Zoë during a middle of the night potty trip).

Zoë couldn't go back to her own bed, so I pulled her into bed with me (and Alexander and Andrew) and then lay there awake for the longest time trying to get rid of my adrenaline rush (and feeling very grateful for our king-sized bed).

1 comment:

  1. A face in your window...ahhh! I'm glad this was just a terrifying butterfly. Sorry for your interrupted sleep!

    ReplyDelete