At 5:30 this morning my second son turned on the hall light and poked his head in our bedroom door. This is a son who hates getting up early for any reason, especially on a Saturday morning. My husband asked him what was wrong.
Worry filled his voice.“I just saw someone in my room and they walked up stairs.”
“You must have seen one of your brothers or sisters,” my husband responded.
“No, I checked on them and they are all in their beds sound asleep.”
Still groggy and not wanting to wake up too much, my husband pulled the covers over his shoulder. “Then you must have been dreaming.”
Not about to concede to that explanation, my son protested. “No, I wasn’t dreaming. I could hear someone breathing and that’s what woke me up. Then I saw the shape of someone beside my bed. I watched them walk up the stairs. That’s why I’m up here.”
I got out of bed and went to help my son, who was obviously upset by the situation and was checking every closet and room in the house.
When I joined my son in the early morning sweep, he told me he wasn’t dreaming or making it up. I already knew that. That's why I was up, too. I knew he had seen someone in his room.
My son again told me he had heard breathing and opened his eyes. That’s when he saw someone moving around his room. Then my son gave me a bit more information. The person stumbled over something before leaving the room and heading upstairs.
Stumbling over something was a key piece of evidence— That is not something you randomly make up.
Though I knew he had actually seen someone in his room, I did not feel alarm. Still, I wanted to be sure my family and home were completely secure, so my son and I checked the rest of the house together. As we quietly searched the house I told him I didn’t think it was a prowler because it was 5:30 in the morning and that was an usual time for a prowler. Besides, our dog was up and needing to go outside and if there was a stranger in the house, he would have reacted to it.
Comforted by my help, our concluded search and (I hope) my words, my son went back downstairs to bed. I decided to stay up and study my Sunday School lesson.
About 8:30 in the morning our youngest son woke up. He came out and sat at the kitchen table to visit. As he chattered away he asked if I wondered why he was sleeping in his own bed last night.
"No," I answered. (I honestly had not wondered why he slept in his own bed.) "That’s where you always sleep.
My youngest son shook his head and told me his older brother had invited him to sleep downstairs with him last night after he got home.
“So I laid in my bed and tried to stay awake until he got home but I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up again it was five in the morning."
The timing caught my interest. Maybe he had seen or heard someone, too.
My youngest chattered on. "I guess I didn’t hear him come home so I went downstairs to his room.
He continued. "I lay there for a while but I didn’t bring a blanket so I got cold. That’s when I decided to just come back up stairs to my own bed but I tripped over his shoes when I was leaving."
My youngest looked at me, concerned. "He really needs to pick up his shoes because I tripped on them when I went downstairs, too. Anyway, that’s why I was sleeping in my bed this morning.”
Story finished. Mystery solved.
The intruder was my youngest son, eager and anxious to have a “slumber party” with his very cool, older brother. So anxious and exited to be invited and considered one of the “big boys” that--even at five in the morning--it was still important enough to him that he went downstairs to spend time with his brother. Even though the night was almost gone and his brother was asleep, my youngest still wanted to be with with his beloved, older brother.
I was touched by all the love that simple little gesture showed.
I was also touched by the love of my older son who, when thinking the house was in peril by the intrusion of a stranger, got up and checked on his brothers and sisters first, before doing anything else. Then he, on his own, spent time checking the entire home to make sure no threat to his family remained.
All in all, I thought it was a perfect way to wake up early on a Saturday morning.