"I Think I Hear Someone In The Backyard"

That is what I woke to last night at 3:45AM. My 17 year old son was standing in my bedroom, in the dark, and whispering to me. I must admit, I’m a heavy sleeper and usually takes me a minute to gain my bearings. But this time I was up and alert in two seconds. I glided down the stairs in seconds without making a sound. I knew the only way out of my yard was through the south gate unless they were willing to jump fences. I decided to slip out the front door and meet them there!
Now before I go any further I just want to mention about a half dozen mistakes Ive made already and I haven’t even made it outside yet.

  1. The backyard is dark because I let the batteries in the motion sensor light die
  2. Because I have 7 kids, Im torn on leaving a gun handy. Since I fear my kids decisions, Ive opted to delay my decision. (AKA-NO GUN)
  3. Because I have 7 kids, my nightstand flashlight always seems to disappear. (AKA-No flashlight)
  4. I didn’t instruct my son on what to do, therefore he was following me. (If I meet a couple guys with guns I put him in harms way)
  5. I did not inform my wife what to do, so she is scared. Her phone in hand she isn’t sure whether to call 911 yet or not.
  6. I’m barefoot with shorts and a t-shirt and no weapon. Not exactly putting the odds in my favor.

As I unlock the front door all six of the above thoughts go racing through my head. I still rush out the door and head for the gate. My son runs over to his truck and grabs a flashlight from inside.(Its unlocked of course! Good Grief I think!)
I stand at the gate, heart pounding, and all my senses at full alert. I listen and hear the noises. These must be the same noises that woke my son. “Ive got this punk” I think to myself as I strain to see in the shadows. I don’t leave the entrance of the gate as I hope he comes running my direction.
I now have the flashlight. Its a maglite. Nice! Something I can use in more ways than one if needed. I shine into the shadow where I know for sure the noise is coming from. BAM! A raccoon is sitting there eating trash he pulled from our can.
Relief and a small amount of disappointment come over me. We are always hoping to catch a thief in the act! I’m also grateful this happened. It put things into perspective about how fast things can go bad. From the time I was awaken to the time I was at the gate ready to tangle was no more than 20 seconds. Take a good look at the list of mistakes I made in 20 seconds. Even though I know better, those mistakes could have cost someone their life, including my own sons. Stupid! Just stupid!
But I will learn from this an be much more prepared next time this happens. Please LEARN from my mistakes and take heed. Take the time right now to go through the same scenario in your head. Are you prepared for “Dad, I think I hear someone in the backyard” tonight?
Ron Douglas