Last night, I had Raisin Bran for dinner. And the night before I had leftover pizza that was 2 days old and I finished the ice cream out of the carton. I also have not run the dishwasher all week. Why? Because Chad is out of town. Which has it's upsides, like not having to think about meals, let alone go to the grocery store. I also have no expectations for when he'll be home and if he'll be able to help me get things done around the house, or take care of Max when he walks in the door. But the upsides kind of end there because somewhere along the line, I turned into a BIG FAT chicken.
I'm going to be honest and tell you that I never saw it coming. I lived by myself for a year and barely remembered to lock my door. Then the last year before I got married, me and my bffa Ruth lived together. And I was never scared. I even made fun of people who couldn't stay by themselves. I thought it was funny that grown ups, with kids of their own, had to go stay with a friend or with their parents every time their hubby went out of town. But things change, unexpectantly.
My first sign was February 2009 when I stayed with the Hall kids for a long weekend while their parents went out of town. The first night I was there by myself- Chad wasn't coming until the next night. I was pregnant, so when I got everyone to bed, I decided to go to bed myself. But my mind started racing and my heart started beating out of my chest-- what if the boogie man came and wanted to get the kids? How would I protect them? What would I do? Luckily, I was pregnant so sleep overtook me eventually and the next night Chad was there.
In June of 2009, Chad left for Albania on a mission trip. He had a security system installed before he left and then my mom was here the majority of the time because we were working on Max's nursery. But again, I was pregnant, so even on the nights when she wasn't here, and I would worry, I fell asleep from pure exhaustion before too long.
THEN we had Max, and in September, when Max was about 6 weeks old, Chad's grandmother passed away. We had just been out to Texas to say goodbye, so he went to her funeral without us. I had both boys by myself for one night. Once I was tired, I crawled in bed to catch some zzzz's, but my mind started going crazy-- if there was a fire, how would I get both boys out? If there was a storm, how would I get Gabe to wake up quickly, while simultaneously getting Max and going downstairs? And what if someone broke in-- would I be too scared to react or would my cat-like reactions save us all and get us on the news? I worked myself up into such a tizzy, that I stayed awake until Max's 3am feeding. Luckily, the nursing hormones kicked in and made me so sleepy that my eyes shut as soon as he was back in bed, and I got a couple hours before it was time for another day.
Last month, Chad took Gabe fishing and Max and I stayed home. Those 2 nights were miserable. I contemplated having Max sleep with me and I don't even believe in that. I tried to read until I fell asleep- but it didn't work. So I tried listening to my ipod until sleep found me- but that didn't work either. I had the alarm set, Chad's big truck was outside because he had taken my car, I left a light on downstairs, and I checked on Max 20 times- I knew everything was fine, yet I was convinced that some attacker was outside watching me and I soon as I shut my eyes, he'd come in to get us. We survived, but barely.
And now this week, Chad has been out of town for work, and I've hated it. I decided to bring a big, sharp knife to bed and keep it on the table by the lamp. I got it in the "right" place and got settled, and then decided that the assailant who was about to break and enter, might use it against me, and if I was bleeding, then I wouldn't be able to protect Max. So I put it back in the kitchen. Then I turned on Seinfeld, and got snuggled in bed, thinking that because I had seen them all, I would fall asleep because I wouldn't have to know how it ended, and the noise would keep my from hearing the house settling. That didn't work either, because I pictured my aggressor standing over me, every time I closed my eyes... so I feared closing my eyes. I went to check on Max for the umpteenth time, and he just lifted his head looked at me, rolled his eyes, and rolled over to go back to sleep. Even the baby knows I'm ridiculous. But I heard about a baby getting kidnapped, out of their own window, while their parents were sleeping in the next room-- and although it was like 20 years ago, I was just sure the same guy was outside Max's window waiting for me to go to sleep. At some point, I did sleep, and I obviously lived to tell about it- but barely.
But Chad comes home today, so all you bad guys can go pick someone else to prey on, because my protector will be here and you won't even enter my mind. So ha!
But isn't that weird? I was never scared before I was pregnant, so I'm assuming it can be blamed on my motherly protective instincts. But all the same things could happen any night- not just when Chad is gone- but I don't even think one thought about it when he's here. And what about the poor women who have a husband who has to travel often? Or the single mom? And let's be honest, if something happened and the house burned down or someone broke in, God would still be God and He would still be good, yet I lay awake, paralyzed by fear. Thank goodness for my own personal body guard, aka my knight in shining armor, aka my most handsome blessing, aka Chad Ryan Bowman. I love you! So glad you're coming home!