Fight, Flight or Freeze

Monday morning I awoke to a thud. I glanced at the clock (5:20) and at the same moment noticed our bedroom light was on. Buzz. I felt around for my glasses, put them on and got up.

Our bedroom door was wide open and he was standing just outside of it in the hallway, facing the front door. He had his new shoes on—the ones his mom gave him on Saturday—and he was holding his favorite hoodie sweater in his arms.

“Are you OK? It’s still dark—time for sleeping. What’s wrong?”

He pointed to the door. A little startled myself, I went to check it out. Nothing there. I went back and turned him  toward his bedroom. He reached up for me to pick him up so I held him.

“You probably heard the ice maker. It makes loud noises sometimes.” It has scared the crap out of me plenty of times.

I carried him through the house.

“See this, buddy? It’s our security system. No one can come in or out of our house at night without setting off loud alarms.” I remembered my sensitive social worker sister-in-law had recommended this and had made a point to talk to him about our security system when she was babysitting once, too.

I carried him  to his room, removed his shoes and covered him up with a blanket as he curled up with his hoodie. I went back to my room to attempt to sleep for another hour.

Poor little guy. I can only imagine what kind of things he’s experienced in his not-quite-3 years that would make a strange noise trigger this kind of response: jump out of bed, grab shoes and jacket from the closet, get ready to run…

I’m thankful that this time he stopped to flip on our bedroom light to get my attention. (The jingle bells on his door handle failed to wake me.) This hasn’t happened in 3 weeks. I’m glad he’s feeling more and more comfortable at our house. But, it was a reminder that fear is still close to the surface.


This picture is not directly related but I love this monster hoodie. I wish I could show you his cute little face.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: