This weekend we experienced one of those scary parent "what if..." moments. You know the sort of stories you read about in the news such as "what if that happened to my child" or "what if my child was taken". Actually I'm dealing with it better than I thought, probably because I was not home when it occurred.
It was Sunday afternoon and Madeline and I were out at a birthday party and picking up some Halloween candy from the grocery store. Stephen and James were hanging out at home. Stephen decided to jump in the shower, so he put on a cartoon for James in our upstairs loft and then left the bathroom door open down the hall while he showered. When he got out of the shower he called out for James like he normally does to check in and make sure he was okay. When James did not answer back, Stephen thought he probably went downstairs for something. So he headed downstairs in his towel to check on James. As he came downstairs he found 2 strange men standing inside our home. James was standing next to them with our front door wide open. Stephen shocked with the situation yelled at these men asking what they were doing inside our house and to get out! They mumbled that they were looking for Daniel and must have the wrong house. They quickly left. Stephen had locked our front door before getting in the shower. But when James heard someone at the door, he unlocked and opened the door.
Why did these men step in our home though if they weren't sure it was Daniel's? Especially when a 4 year old boy just answers the door. How long were they inside? Were they really looking for Daniel or were they scoping things out?
What if they had taken James!?
Thankfully by God's grace nothing worse happened. Stephen got dressed and had a very serious and emotional talk with James about strangers and answering the door without mom or dad. I think James realized it was wrong to open the door for these men when his daddy started yelling at them. The kids get excited when they hear the doorbell ring or a knock at the door, but we're constantly telling them not to run up to the door, look out the front window or talk really loud because sometimes strangers might come to the door and we don't want to answer it or talk with them. James figured out how to unlock the door probably a couple of months ago but we've never really had a problem with him opening it until now.
After this occurred I definitely felt uneasy. Today I installed a surface bolt (pictured above) as an extra lock to keep intruders from coming in, but also as a safety measure to keep the kids inside and prevent them from opening the door while we're home but maybe preoccupied with something in a different area of the house. It's high and difficult enough that the kids can't unlock the bolt. I feel better now.
Oh and what did our beloved Penny Lane do when these strange men came inside our home, nothing...she actually ran outside the front door to play in the front yard. Some guard dog (she's always giving her deep bark and growls when she's inside and hears something outside which is usually just a loud car). But I guess we've never trained her to ward off strangers. Maybe that's next on our to-do list.