Was it the second or third time?
She couldn’t remember.
What she did know was that it was 4:00 a.m. She thought the crying was not about nature calling. This was about nature stirring. She was sure this was about Chloe needing to scare off whatever nocturnal animal was in the backyard. So she told her to stop crying.
“Shush up,” she said. Looking down at her from the top of stairs, “Now that’s enough, go lay down.”
Her heart was racing. She doesn’t normally argue at 4 a.m., though when she does its typically with one of the three dogs. Her daughter rarely wakes up in the night. It will be here soon enough, she thought. High school is around the corner, and if she’s anything like her parents, she’ll be tiptoeing in the house at all hours of the night.
Last Monday she ended her day with her friend Mary from high school. They had dinner with her at Rose’s Luxury in Washington, D.C. They talked about Mary’s marriage and the end of hers. And somehow they came around to one night when she snuck back out. Mary and Ann Browne were in the car waiting. That afternoon her brother Kevin taught her how to sneak out the bedroom window, she had to shimmy down the awning, and then slowly lower her legs over the gutter until she reached the banister in the front porch below. Everything was going as planned, with the exception of a torrential rain, when she became stuck. Her underwear caught on the gutter. She looked like a baby hanging from a stork’s mouth, just dangling there. Mary and Ann were aghast inside the car, laughing in pure hilarity. Her brother walked through the front door, unhooked his sister’s underwear from the gutter and walked back into the house. Their parents never stirred. She went back to her party, threw rocks at the window hours later, and then walked through the front door.
Mary asked if I could work the story into a blog, and so I did this morning. Because we were stirring in the night back then. High on hormones and anxious to get to college. And, yes, I’ll be on the receiving end of that soon enough.
This morning when I awoke, I looked at the zinnias outside and the sun rising. And I thanked God for another day. I told myself I’d write about stirring creatures, and prayed that my stubbornness was correct and that in fact, Chloe did not need to relieve herself. I was wrong. Poop. I cleaned it up, washed my hands, and fed the dogs. The only thing stirring last night was my stubbornness thanks to Chloe’s bowel. Note to self, maybe the next house I buy comes with a doggie door.