Maternal Instinct

We had our 3rd Annual Neighborhood Campout this weekend. We stayed up until after midnight and by the time the girls and I arranged our sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and pillows right where we wanted them, we were Tired with a capital T. It didn’t matter that I was on an air mattress in a tent in my neighbor’s backyard, I drifted right into a deep sleep. I slept so well, in fact, that I didn’t hear all the ruckus.

I didn’t hear my neighbor snoring loudly in his tent next to us. It was reported the next morning that the snoring was so loud it sounded like an approaching grizzly bear, but I didn’t hear it.

I didn’t hear Maddie’s friend complaining of mosquito bites, and I didn’t hear her and her mother exit their tent to find itch relief cream in the wee hours of the morning.

I didn’t hear the teenagers creep out of their tents at 2:00 am to sit on the patio and tell ghost stories. They were hot, they said. They needed some air, they said.

I didn’t hear another neighbor come home from his shift as a State Trooper at 2:00 am and come by to check on us. Apparently he came at the exact time the teenagers had decided to venture up to the patio which scared the daylights out of all of them.

And I didn’t hear Tinley, the faithful pup, who also spotted the visiting State Trooper and barked in alarm, running around our makeshift campground like only a good watchdog would.

I didn’t hear any of it. Like I said, I was in a deep sleep.

What I did hear though was the faint sound of our tent zipper opening at 3:00 a.m and the shuffling of Maddie pajamas pants. She was sleepwalking, as she has a tendency to do. When I bolted upright, she was halfway out of the tent, heading who-knows-where.

“Maddie!” I whispered in alarm. “Get back in here!” Maddie turned around and looked at me in a sleepy haze.

“Okay, Momma,” she whispered as came back in the tent and snuggled up against me once more.

I breathed a sigh of relief. That, I heard. Thank God.


3rd Annual Neighborhood Campout


9 thoughts on “Maternal Instinct

  1. I also had a sleepwalker for a while….it is SO SO scary. I’m guessing God has some kind of a push button for moms when needed!

  2. What a wonderful neighborhood experience! I, like many others, really like how you structured this piece. Isn’t it amazing how you are somehow tuned in to hear the critical things? Nice job, Mom!

  3. I really need to pause my life more, so I can come and enjoy your writing! I love this post, your craft, and your voice! I laughed out loud picturing the trooper coming around the house as the teens, who were hot, ventured out to the patio!

    Thank goodness you heard the soft, sweet, sounds of Maddie.

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