I’m sure every woman fears that moment, the one when you are home alone with the kids for the night, and you hear something. The dogs start going crazy and you think, “This is it. Someone finally broke into the house.”
This happened to me last year. Dan found a job in another state, but his new job meant that I needed to stay behind for a couple months and get the house ready for the market. Every night, I would stare at the ceiling, listening to every noise in the house. After a couple weeks, I grew used to being a single parent. I made sure the doors were locked, the kids were tucked in and safe, and go to bed.
The night before Valentine’s Day was like every other. I checked the house, the locks, and the kids, and went off to bed.
At 1am, the dogs went crazy.
I woke up. My mind was somewhere between dreamland and reality. I heard someone moving around downstairs.
My heart stopped.
It had finally happened. One of my greatest fears: all alone with an intruder.
A split second later I realized my phone was down the hall in my office, charging. By now I knew the intruder was at the bottom of the stairs. The dogs were hysterical.
I looked around and spotted the lamp. I only had two thoughts: I would need to beat the man unconscious so I could reach my phone and how in the world was I going to get the blood out of the carpet?
The intruder entered my room.
I drew back… and realized it was Dan.
I just about passed out then and there.
Where did he come from?
I lay down on the bed, hardly able to move. I had been geared up to kill a man to save my children. And now all that adrenaline had left me faint.
It took a couple minutes before I could look back up.
“Hi,” I finally said.
Apparently Dan wanted to surprise me for Valentines Day so he drove 12 hours straight after preaching at church. He tried texting me to let me know he was on his way, but my phone was dead, so I never heard from him. When he reached our house, he let himself in the back door.
It never occurred to me that the dogs were going crazy because Dan was home, not because of a stranger. Nor did I wonder how a stranger broke into the house with the doors locked.
The scariest part is I could have shot him. Only afterward did I remember the gun Dan keeps in the closest. I imagined myself, standing at the top of the stairs, pointing a gun at my very surprised husband. Yikes!
I learned two lessons that night: I need to keep my phone charged and next to me, and if I ever need to, I will protect my family at all costs. So don’t surprise me!