I grew up in a loud house. We didn’t whisper, the dishes clanged and banged when they came out of the cupboard and there wasn’t a big difference between walking and stomping. Sneaking wasn’t sneaking – it was more like not getting caught because someone else in another part of the house was being louder. To top it off, I’m clumsy and have really crappy vision, especially after I take my contacts out.
My nightshift life keeps me up late. Jeff’s farm boy schedule puts him to sleep early. This means that I spend my nights attempting to sneak around a dimly lit house and I am terrible at it. You would think I would improve with practice but no. It has yet to happen. Jeff can get out of bed every morning, shower, get dressed and leave the house like a ghost. He grew up hunting. The guy is freaky quiet in sneak mode.
I’ve spent 7 years of nights running into door frames, walls and doors. I bend over in the dark to take off my socks and whack my head on my nightstand. I’ve missed steps both on the way down and up the stairs. I’ve dropped pans. I have shattered more than one glass. I’ve tripped over the shoes I’ve just taken off. I’ve tripped over thin air. I’ve lost my balance sneaking into our pitch black closet feeling my way to my PJs. I’ve walked into the screen door – and the glass slider. Cupboards slam, electronics malfunction. I was once listening to my earphones only to realize when I took them out that the sound was playing through the speakers, too. I think you get the idea. I’m not really quiet.
So last night, I stayed up late. I wasn’t sleepy. The outside temp was suppose to hit nearly freezing. (Eeeeee-gads! What about the tomatoes?!) Scout, the wonder Aussie, was restless. So I was up until just past 4. I got ready for bed and didn’t make a peep… I’m practicing. He will never take me hunting if I can’t manage how much noise I make. I was so proud of myself!
I was on the homestretch. All I had to do was move my clothes off the end of the bed and slip in without waking him up. I reached my hand out into the darkness to grab my sweatshirt and heard a yell. I screamed. Well, I had miscalculated where I was in the room and when I reached out to grab my sweatshirt, I mistakingly grabbed Jeff’s warm, wiggly foot instead. He came out of a dead sleep, doing the drowning man as he came to. I screamed, not only because what ever I had a hold of was alive and moving but Jeff’s yell startled the bajeezus out of me. I would have wet my pants if I had anything in my bladder. What a disaster! And who can sleep after an adrenaline rush like that?
So tonight there will be no sneaking. There will be no darkness. There will be no quiet. I’m less loud when I’m not trying to be so quiet. Better yet, I think I’ll sleep upstairs and just face the fact I will never be a stealthy hunter or quiet spouse.