Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On the subject of fear

On Saturday night, Flannery and I stayed up late goofing around on the computer and rereading a book respectively. At about a quarter 'til two, we hear wump, wump, wump. Kid feet running through the house. In a moment, the door from the kitchen swings open and Lucy, age five, steps out into the Lodge where we are seated and she is crying great big salty tears. She is dressed in undies, a T-shirt, and is holding a blue stuffed rabbit. "Are you okay honey?" Flannery asks, "Did you have a bad dream?"

Lucy looks at Flannery and her eyes don't seem to register her. Lucy looks at me and it is as if she looks right through me. Then like a shot, Lucy bolts for the back door and runs out into the night as fast as her little legs will carry her. She rounds the house and runs down the driveway and almost makes it to the street before quick-footed Flannery can scoop her up. Flannery carries her back inside and tucks her into our bed where she promtly goes right back to sleep.

The whole time, she never said a word, or wimpered, or cried out. Not once. The next day, Lucy didn't remember any of it. She was sleepwalking and had dashed into the dark to escape from a bad dream.

The really scary thing is that I don't know if she has ever done this before or if she will ever do it again, but I haven't slept well since.

Happy Cinco de Mayo,


  1. Are you busy fitting your daughters with those tracking collars that they use to figure out migratory patterns?

  2. happy cinco back acha.
    Those moments are precious.

  3. Oh my - what an experience. My stepdaughter went sleepwalking once and just across the hall to another room... it terrified me. This sounds much more animated.

  4. Shit dude. Strap that girl to the bed or something.

  5. Yep, scary stuff. That's like a solid 9 on the "scare the shit out of the parents" scale.

  6. Welcome to the wild n' wooly woild o' parenting. I believe this can be qualified as a "night terror", so named not because of the fear it induces in the child (who usually never remembers anything about the episode), but for the terror the PARENTS feel when it happens and they worry that their child is cracking up. The first time this happens is always the scariest by far.

    Good news? If this is her first and she's already 5, chances are she may not have any more.

  7. I had one that did this same thing. Would scare the crap out of me because she was fast, never looked anyone in the eyes.



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