I have always wondered how I would react if someone broke into my house when my husband was away on business.
Well, tonight I found out.
This week, I’m staying with my in-laws while my husband travels. Every evening, I get the kids down to bed and log on to the computer to grade papers and check email.
My mother-in-law and father-in-law usually retire to bed around 10:30, and I’m usually awake long after everyone in the house is asleep.
Around 11:30 p.m. tonight, as I was working on the computer and the kids were sound asleep, I heard a noise coming from what seemed like the girls’ room or the room next to theirs.
For a few seconds, I thought it was my oldest getting up to use the bathroom. But after a minute or so and no sign of her, I could hear even more movement and began to realize it was an adult-sized person taking those steps and rustling around in a bedroom.
It hit me that I didn’t have any idea who was in the room with my kids, and I had to do something! Without losing a beat, I leapt up from the kitchen table and started running down the hall ready to attack whoever was in there…
Only to find…
It was my mother-in-law using the computer in the office next to the kids’ bedroom!
What a relief! My heart was racing so fast, but I quickly calmed down when I realized she had just snuck away to play video games on the computer (which she rarely does) and time had gotten away from her. It just never occurred to me that she would be on the computer at 11:30 p.m.
Now that I’m confident my kids are safe, I decided to write all this down. You see, one of my biggest fears is that my children will be harmed. When we’re at home, I set the house alarm at night; that way, I’ll know if someone tries to open a window or door. But at my in-laws house, there is no alarm and the kids rooms are ground-level with simple push up windows. It occurs to me quite often that it’s not a very secure place to be at night.
I’m probably being ridiculous, but I can’t help it since the reason I have an alarm system is that someone broke into my car in my driveway a couple years ago while my husband was out of town and I was home alone with a toddler and infant. Even more recently, I witnessed a getaway to a robbery that happened two doors down from me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. And just two weeks ago, my car was broken into yet again – this time at a local community center. I have THE best luck when it comes to this sort of thing.
Put all of these things together, and I’m on high alert for any type of suspicious activity at any time of day.
I keep thinking of the self-defense teacher who learned that I had three kids. He had just finished teaching me ways to fend off an attacker. I will never forget him saying, “With little kids depending on you, you will not just have to fend off an attacker, you will have to face them with certainty or risk them getting to your kids.”
Of course, that scared the living daylights out of me. I had hoped that I would have the courage to face an attacker if that unfortunate occasion should arrive. But you truly never know what you’ll do in an emergency.
Now I know.
Except now I’m thinking I should have thought to grab the frying pan out of the sink drying rack right next to me! :=)