"I think it's time for bed," Nicholas announced. "I'm going to get in my 'jammas."
"Uh...it's only 7:30 Bub," I replied, squelching his early retirement plans. No way was I letting him go to bed at 7:30 on a Saturday.
"But we're going to sleep outside, right?"
Daddy had made the announcement earlier in the day. "Would you guys like to sleep on the deck tonight?" His inquiry was met with an excited barrage of squeals and yaaaays, and the kids spent the rest of the day waiting for bedtime.
I spent the rest of the day worrying. I remember sleeping in the backyard as a kid, and I turned out just fine, but the thought of letting Paul's kids sleep outside brought visions of every doomsday occurance to my mind.
What about bears? There are bears here, right? We don't have bears on the island... Won't mosquitos get to them? What if a spider gets into their sleeping bag? What if the dew is too heavy tonight and they get wet? What if we have prowlers? What if they get cold? What if a raccoon wanders up onto the deck? Or a deer? (I know...since when am I nervous about deer?) What if they get scared? What if a tornado touches down and sucks them away ?(you didn't think I suddenly became rational, did you?)
Paul rolled his eyes at me and did his best to ease my nerves. "They'll be fine, Baby. They're only on the deck, and we'll be right inside."
The noise level in our little cabin reached a crescendo when bedtime finally came. Chloe and Nicholas dashed back and forth between their bedroom and the deck, dragging blankets and pillows and chattering excitedly. Even Lauren set aside her too cool teenage front and announced, "I'm as excited as a little kid!"
I distracted myself by nagging. "Chloe, put on your warm Tinkerbell pajamas. Nicholas, where's your sweatshirt? Go put on your sweatshirt! Lauren, do you need a sweatshirt, too? Are you going to be warm enough?" And finally, right before they crawled into their sleeping bags I doused each of them in enough bug repellent to cure Florida of its West Nile Virus. No bugs were going to sneak past my watchful eye on this night!
It was over an hour before the little voices on the deck finally ceased to ring from the circle of trees that surrounds our cabin. Their excitement gave way to exhaustion, and as I crawled into bed myself, I let go of some of my apprehensions. Of course they'll be fine...I'm being ridiculous.
But I slept with my patio door open--just in case.