Monday, January 7, 2013

Safety Check: What's under YOUR pillow?

A few nights ago, I was enjoying a rare stretch of deep, blissful slumber when there was a loud knock on our front door. I sat up straight, my heart pounding. The clock read 1:15 a.m.

"Nick," I hissed at my sleeping husband. "Someone's knocking on our front door!"

Now Nick was awake, too, and as he tiptoed down the stairs to investigate, I took stock of what we had upstairs. Sleeping 9-week-old baby? Check. Sleeping 3-year-old girl? Check. Blunt instrument that I can swing at an intruder's head? Nope, nothing.

I scanned our bedroom anxiously. How could we not have a baseball bat?

As I waited for Nick to reappear, I contemplated what I'd do if he didn't. What if he had answered the door to an axe murderer who was now climbing the stairs toward my precious girls and me?

Ok, I realize these are morbid and highly irrational thoughts, but that's what happens when you're torn from your sleep in the middle of the night and find yourself standing guard of your children with a mini electronic piano in your hands. (Yes, this is what I grabbed. It was that or an alarm clock.)

Now don't get me wrong. I wasn't wishing for a gun of any kind. Lord, no. I have always been fiercely anti-gun and the recent Newtown tragedies only convinced me that we need fewer of the things, not more. And I wasn't looking for a knife. I'm not so sure I want to store something sharp in my underwear drawer. I just wanted something substantial to hold in my trembling hands, to ready over my shoulder while I waited. Something like a frying pan. (That's right, burglar. I'm going old school on your ass.)

It ended up being a police officer at our door. A neighbor across the street had detected a gas leak, and we need to move our car so they could dig up the road and get to the line. So of course, it wasn't an intruder, and really, what intruder would knock before entering anyway? (Alas, such logic escaped me at the time.)

But I learned an important lesson that night. I learned that I don't want to feel so helpless again--whether waiting for my husband or going to investigate a bump in the night myself, as I'll inevitably have to do when Nick travels for work. No, sir. This mom (and former college athlete, I might add) wants a tool. So the next day, I went into the recesses of our storage closet and came out triumphantly wielding my trusty field hockey stick. Hello, old friend.

After a few practice swings (take that, bad guys!), I slid the stick under my side of the bed. I hope I never have to use it. But do I feel a little safer already? Check.


  1. While I have great respect for your prowess with a field hockey stick, I'd feel better if you were guarding your precious girls with a shotgun. Particularly if the intruder doesn't share your aversion to firearms. However, short of that, a scared but determined mother with a field hockey stick at the top of a narrow staircase makes a formidable guardian.

  2. My husband thinks just like you, and always had a maglite by the bed. It got lost in our move almost a year ago, and I just gave him a nice heavy new 4-cell for Christmas!