Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Awakened at midnight

I awoke in the night and turned the TV on, muted, so as not to disturb Cliff.  I must have dozed back off, because the next thing I remember is being awakened by my eight-year-old granddaughter, Natalie, standing at my bedside in her nightshirt.  My first thought was that I had overslept past 6:30 A.M., and that my daughter had brought the girls as usual.

Then I looked at the clock beside my bed:  12:15 PM.

"What are you doing here?  How did you get here?"  I said.  (Their house is two miles from here.)

"I walked."

"Barefooted?" I asked, incredulous, looking down at her feet. 

"No.  My shoes are in the hall."

"Why did you walk here?"

"I don't know."

"Why didn't you wake your parents?"

"Because they'd yell at me."

After trying to call my daughter's house, then her cell, and getting no response, Cliff decided we'd better take Natalie home.  (Good thing he was told he could drive yesterday.) 

Kevin, when he came to the door, was speechless.

So this morning when Rachel brought the girls, I asked if she'd found out any reason for Natalie's midnight walk.

"She said she had a bad dream, and we always just tell her to go back to bed.  I don't think she realized how long it would take her to walk here, though."

How long, indeed.  I walked to town to make a bank deposit a few days ago, and I was walking for speed and aerobic benefit.  It took me thirty-five minutes one way.  I'm sure Natalie would have been walking much slower, knowing her usual pace.  Probably a forty-five minute walk for her.  At midnight, on a lonely country byway.  An eight-year-old.  All alone.

Wow.  That's scary.

23 comments:

madcobug said...

That is a long walk for her in the daytime and especially at night like that. I know her only being eight years old she is not allowed to do that anyway. Must have really been a bad nightmare to send her out like that, being along in the dark making that walk no telling how scared she was. May be a good thing her parents didn't wake up as it would have scared them to death finding her gone. Glad she was safe through all that. Helen

mutualaide said...

Oh Dear Lord, gave me chills reading this.  So glad she made it safely.

am4039 said...

oh my how scary is that. I sure am happy that she is home and safe. Geesh. What a long walk for a little girl.

rollinghillsides said...

Hard for me to believe that an eight year old girl could even be brave enough to walk that far in the dark, and all alone!  Yikes, I wouldn't have done it at my age lol!  Glad she stayed safe and found Grandma and Grandpa.  If a stranger had passed her I'll bet they would've thought she was quite lost.  Judy, in CT

cyandfayedavis said...

That is scary....But what a marvelous little girl.  She had a problem and she solved it.  There are not many 8 yo children that have the confidence to undertake such a daunting task.  Also what a wonderful bond you have.  What about locked doors? I just want to hug her and then say "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!"

tc01hm said...

What an adventure for all concerned. If Natalie has another bad dream, I hope your daughter and son-in-law listen to her. Cliff's condition may have put all under stress. Happy to hear that she was safe!
Tess

inquestoftruth said...

My daughter did that when she was nine....she was spending the night at my mother's, and she took an after midnight stroll to a friends house.   Hers wasn't quite as innocent as Natalie's....she fully intended to sneak out and go to Kala's, and the only nightmare was MINE.

deslily said...

wow.. that would have scared me too!!..  really glad she arrived safe at your home!  

buggieboo1 said...

WOW that's scary! glad she made it safely!

Sharon

mumma4evr said...

wow!!!  that is scary!!!!  I am so glad she made it to your place!
Becky

mindercella33 said...

WOW!! THAT IS SCAREY. KIDS DO THE ODDEST THINGS SOMETIMES. I AM GLAD SHE MADE IT TO YOUR HOUSE SAFE. I BET SHE PROBABLY GOT A LITTLE SCARED TO AND NEVER REALIZED HOW FAR GRANDPA AND GRANDMA REALLY LIVED. I HOPE SHE WON'T REPEAT THAT AGAIN. KIDS!!
             HUGS, CYNDY,MENDOTA, IL.

amy122389 said...

Thinking on it, I probably would've done something like that at 8.  The town I lived in was safe, everybody knew everybody... I bet Natalie didn't even think it was that much of a big deal...
It does make me smile to hear that she walked that far just to have grandma make her feel better after a bad dream though...

~Amy

firestormkids04 said...

Bless that little girl!  Angels must have been protecting her.  It would have frightened me to have one of mine walk that far to me, but I would have done that when I was little - I knew no fear.  Give her an extra hug for me today.  I'm glad Cliff is recuperating so well.  Be blessed today.  Penny http://journals.aol.com/firestormkids04/FromHeretoThere

ajoleblon said...

That is scarey!  My daughter did that from a neighbors one night.  She was a lot younger and I cringe at the idea of what could have happened to her had I not heard her knock on the door.  

ksquester said...

Yes, that is scarey.   Good thing she went to YOUR house and arrived safely.  Do you think she could have been sleep walking?   Anne

lanurseprn said...

How SCARY is that!!  That's a long walk for anyone in the middle of the night, let alone a little girl.  WOW she had angels looking after her!  
I'm really touched that she feels so close to you guys that she knew she'd get some comforting at grandma's house.  Poor baby.  Bad dreams can seem so real to them.
Love to you,
Pamela

chat2missie said...

That is scarry!  Gives me goose bumps just thinking about her out there walking at that time.
Missie

skisseberth said...

We KNOW God has His angels 'round about her ! My, oh my !

bnanajm said...

And that road is scary.......................

siennastarr said...

Oh my goodness!  She came to your house at 12 am?  

You know, Donna, I'll just bet that this whole thing with her grandpa has had an effect on her, and that's probably why she felt the need to be close to the two of you.  She probably seems fine on the outside, but there is that part of her that worries about her grandpa and grandma (and she probaby doesn't even realize it herself).   If she has never done anything like this before, than I would bet what's been going on with Cliff has alot to do it with it.

Jackie

csandhollow said...

O my goodness. Maybe you need to have her stay a night or 2 so she can be reassured about Cliff.

tendernoggle said...

OMG! I would have stroked out! lol
My goodness....why did she do it??? That is sooooo scary.....2 miles from my hose would be all the way to the high school down town.....it would take me at least 20-25 minutes...or more...haven't done it lately, so probably would take longer....Please, please warn her of all the dangers in what she did, Mosie....let her know to call you first...
Hope You and Cliff are doing good.
God bless you and your family.
love always,
Carlene

amiragabrielle said...

I just thank God she is ok. So many things can happen with our kids. We wonder how they grow up? My oldest two made it through their father and my mistakes quite fine. Glad to hear all is ok on the farm.

In Christ,
Gabrielle