What is your natural instinct when something scares you? Do you cover your eyes? Scream? Run? Fight?
I hate being scared and my knee-jerk reactions prove it. Last year at the Boy Scouts’ haunted forest when the boys jumped out from behind the trees, I grabbed my daughter and used her as a human shield.
But, that wasn’t when she first learned about my impulsiveness. The poor girl once made the mistake of standing behind my bedroom door, underneath a white sheet and when I least expected it, she jumped out at me and screamed. I screamed too. I also hit her in the face.
Last week, my husband had just climbed the steps when I entered the dark hallway right in front of him. He said…something…who knows what it was…and it scared me because I expected the dark hallway to be empty. I hit him so hard in the chest that I thought, for a second, he was going to fall down the stairs.
Fair warning, if I hear something go bump in the night, I’m going to shoot it. Just sayin’. I can’t help the way I react.
This has never been more evident than a few weeks ago on a trip to Lake Erie. My family and I were taking a tour of a one-room cave. I was shoved up against the back wall with a large crowd between me and the only exit. My head was about six inches from the ceiling.
I looked down at my son who was staring at something above me when he said, very nonchalantly, “Mom, there’s a bat.”
I was sure I misunderstood.
Again, he looked just past my head and calmly said, “There’s a bat.”
I turned around to see a mouse-like, winged creature within inches of my face.
I can only describe what happened next as half slow-motion, half George Constanza. I nearly trampled my own kids so I could get out of there.
What can I say? My motherly instincts are pretty awesome.
But, as I was getting ready to throw people to the side, the tour guide said, “It’s okay! It’s fake!”
The picture is so blurry because I was still shaking. You know, because of a Beanie Baby.
But, on the upside, I didn’t knock anyone out.