Something unexplainable happened last night that I may never have the answers to. I keep going over and over the scenes in my head trying to make sense of it all, with no luck.
It had been a long afternoon alone with my 4 boys, with my husband out of town for a conference. I was feeling very exhausted so by 9pm I made sure all 3 of my older children were tucked away in their beds. I had to skip all the usual bed time routines for each child, and instead did one, big Goodnight, I love you call out to everyone within hearing distance. All of our bedrooms are in close proximity to each other so saying one grand GOODNIGHT for the night was going to have to work. I was too pooped.
Lastly, I went down the hall to my bedroom with my toddler. We snuggled up in our big bed, read a few books, and then I nursed him to sleep. All those comfy, snugly, relaxing hormones surged through my body as I watched my last child slip into happy dream-land. At last, the house was quiet! Hallelujah. And it was only 9:15pm. I had the entire rest of the night to lay in bed and watch reruns of Gilmore Girls (because that's all I really felt like doing).
As I turned on my phone and pulled the blankets up over my shoulders I remembered that I forgot to make sure the doors were locked upstairs. "Oh well, I thought,"Micah will be home soon enough. He's only a couple hours away and he can lock the doors when he comes in." I wasn't too worried about it. After all, we live in a pretty safe neighborhood with wonderful neighbors and if someone came in I would hear them," I reasoned.
So I turned off all the lights, turned on my little hand-held screen in front of my face, and became completely immersed in the world of Stars Hollow. After one episode I decided I was ready for sleep, but I had a few things I wanted to check on the web first.
As I was google-searching something, I looked up just in time to see someone walking past my open bedroom door. It was a tall person. A man. But it was very dark so I couldn't make out who it was. This person silently walked past my door then up the stairs, coming from the direction of my boy's rooms. I immediately thought, "Oh! Micah is home already!" Then I angrily thought,"But why wouldn't he tell me? And why would he be sneaking through the house like this scaring the crap out of me??" I started yelling up the stairs for him, with no answer. Complete silence. I then realized that there was no way that couldv'e been Micah. He still had more driving to do and there was no physically possible way he'd be home by now. So of course I figured it must be my oldest son going upstairs to get water or maybe he's sleep-walking. He does that sometimes and we usually have to just turn him around back to his bed. He never remembers in the morning. However, he's not exactly a tall man, but with the darkness and the shadows maybe I mistook him for one?
But, when I looked into his bedroom I found him fast asleep, right where I'd left him an hour earlier. I quickly checked my other boy's room and found them fast asleep, too.
That's when I started shaking with fear. It seemed to me that someone strange was in my house and I was going to have to do something about it. I tried to stop and reason with myself for a moment, afterall I didn't want to act rashly and make any stupid decisions.
First of all, perhaps it was a trick on my eyes. One time I thought I saw a giant tarantula on the wall and it wasn't really there. Or maybe it was from watching too much tiny screen in the darkness of my room. Maybe I had transferred an image into my house that wasn't really there. Could I have imagined a tall, dark figure walking past my bedroom? Is that possible? Perhaps if I had been watching a horror movie (which I never ever ever do) I could've imagined myself into a frenzy like this, but I was watching Gilmore Girls for goodness sakes!
Or maybe......there was someone lurking in my house and they wanted to hurt me or my children.
This last thought pushed me into action. I rationalized that when it comes to the safety of my family, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Micah and I have a plan for if we think there's an intruder in the house. I can't go into detail but It involves guns and positioning and actively waiting. I never thought I'd have to put this plan into action, until now. I stopped shaking so I could do it properly. Then I called 911. I told the emergency response people that I suspected an intruder in my home. Then I waited. I didn't dare go upstairs where I thought he must be. I didn't dare move away from my position.
The 911 operator stayed with me on the phone until they got there. She said there would be a knock on the door and If I felt safe enough I could go answer it.
I heard the knock, but I didn't feel safe. However, I didn't know what else to do. Just sit there and wait? Wait for the cop to break in and find me in my position? I went upstairs.
Going upstairs to answer that door was one of the scariest things I've ever done. I mean, I knew that when I went upstairs I would find a police officer at my door (or 5) but I didn't want to leave my children downstairs alone, and I didn't want to find anyone waiting for me between my bedroom and the front door.
I opened the front door to find the entire small-town police force. I guess they take these phone calls seriously, which is comforting and amazing to me. I told them to come in immediately and check every room in my house, which they did. We walked from room to room so I could see for myself that there was nobody here.
They checked all my windows. No evidence of a break in. We walked around checking for missing valuables. Everything was there.
Miraculously my children stayed asleep the entire time, which was good. I didn't want them to wake up to find a houseful of policemen in our home to scare the pants off of them.
Finally after we had reasoned that there was no one in my house, no evidence of a break-in, and no valuables missing, we concluded that there could only be 3 explanations:
1. My son had been sleepwalking and I didn't see him turn around at the stairway and go back to his bed.
2. Since I might have left the doors unlocked, perhaps someone came in the house then quickly left when they saw I was home.
3. I imagined the entire thing.
I said goodbye to the nice policemen and went back to my room. I was still really freaked out about the entire thing and knew I wouldn't be able to go to sleep until my husband came home. I couldn't stop rethinking over and over the scene in my head of the person walking past my doorway. Then I kept scaring myself even more by thinking that the cops hadn't checked the house good enough and he was probably hiding under the couch or behind a closet door. Any moment he was going to come down those stairs with a giant machete yelling, "Sucka! I got you now!"
I knew it wasn't my son sleepwalking. When I went to his room to check on him he was tucked under his blankets exactly how I left him. And I knew it wasn't my imagination. I looked up and I saw what I saw. I saw a person walking. My imagination would not have prompted me to hold a gun (which I hate) in my hands and call the police to assist me.
However, it's really hard for me to imagine that someone would come quietly into my home, walk around, and leave without taking anything. Not that we have any valuables, but I'm sure there's a few things here and there that could be pawned off.
Like I said in the beginning, something unexplainable happened last night that I may never have the answers to.
What I do know, however, is that I proved to myself that when I am put in a position to protect my children, I'm not going to be messed with. Intruders beware.
Rewind to yesterday morning: I got my first speeding ticket in close to twenty years. I was barreling down the road trying to get my kids to school on time, not paying any attention to the speed limit. I was going 45 in a 25 zone. Whoops! The policeman who pulled me over was not very happy with me. And I was not very happy with the policeman for citing a nice mama with a clean driving record who was accidentally going over the speed limit on a busy school morning. A big fat warning would've been enough to put me in my place! Instead, I have to go to court, do traffic school, watch my insurance go up, and wear the crown of shame on my head for being a supposed reckless driver. I was feeling pretty irritated with those darn cops, until of course they all showed up at my house in my desparate time of need.
Oh yesterday! I am so glad you are over. It was not a lovely day. Not a lovely day at all!
But, I guess it was a lovely day for cops.