Our oldest son boarded a bus last night, on a school trip to Washington D.C.. I never sleep well when one of my kids isn't here. I always sleep with my cell phone when he is traveling. He sent a couple of text messages that all was well around midnight. After that I dozed off.
Several hours later, the time remains unknown to me, I bolted upright in my bed. There was a very loud sound downstairs. The sound wasn't exactly a crash, but it was certainly loud and out of the ordinary.
I have no idea what caused the noise. After roaming around the first floor and turning on all the exterior lights, we couldn't find anything amiss.
Now here comes the whole point of this post. When the loud sound occurred, my husband and I both sat up in bed. As I sat right up, barely awake, I hurriedly said, "ARE THE KIDS OKAY?" My husband, on the other hand, eased himself upright and mumbled, "What the H***?" I sprang out of bed and hustled down the hall to the kids' rooms. My husband rummaged around for his slippers and slowly headed downstairs to figure out the problem.
What strikes me about this midnight episode is the fundamental difference between mothers and fathers. The first thing out of my mouth, half awake, was, "Are the kids okay?" My husband, well, not so much. There was no sense of urgency for him. No need to run down the hall and lay his eyes on the kids. When he finally got out of bed, his only concern was to figure out what happened.
Last night's episode perfectly illustrates the parenting roles in our family. Momma bird worries and springs into action, ready to protect her kids. Dad solves the problems, in his own time.
Is this how things would have gone in the middle of the night at your house?