As the man of the house, it is my responsibility to set the standard of “manliness” for my sons. I would like to think that Justin (and someday Garrett) will one day look back at my actions and know that I remained courageous and calm when dealing with fear. It is my hope that they remember those times when I boldly took action to protect them without any concern for my own personal safety.
…and I hope they forget seeing me scream like a little girl while using one of my children as a shield against an attacking, 4 inch lizard.
Two days ago, I pulled into the driveway after picking up Justin and Garrett from school. My usual routine is to get Justin out of the car first and then go back around to get Garrett, who is buckled into his car seat. Once I have unlatched his carrier from the base, I place it on the ground near the front door so that I can grab the keys to unlock the door and let everyone into the house.
However, after putting Garrett down, I noticed something on the bricks moving. Justin also noticed it. “Daddy, daddy – a lizard!!!” I knelt down to look at it just as it leapt towards my face. “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!” I screamed as I quickly “danced” back. Justin began laughing hysterically. I walked back towards the lizard who had now repositioned himself in the corner where the front door opens into the house. Realizing that I could not open the door without him running in, I decided to shoo him away.
Luckily, the mail had arrived, so I grabbed the largest piece I could find. It was our monthly Jewish Story Book selection from The PJ Library. Finally, this crappy book service would be useful to me!! I began to push the lizard away with the book….when all of a sudden he decided not to go backward, but UP!! The damn lizard started crawling up the wall…then he turned his head and leapt at me a second time. This time, Justin was close by – so I grabbed his shirt and yanked him in front of my like a shield as I stepped to the side. Justin squealed with delight!
With the lizard now back on the ground, he had plenty of room to run away. But, he didn’t. He decided to run straight for Garrett who was happily babbling to himself while sitting in his carrier. At that moment, everything went into slow motion.
I saw the lizard running straight towards my 6 month old….I saw Garrett see the lizard and give him a wet, sloppy, drooling smile….and I tried to race back towards Garrett to get him out of the way. All of a sudden, the lizard stopped 2 inches away from the baby carrier and then darted left…..under my garage door.
Justin and I have spent the past couple of days retelling the story of the lizard. With each retelling, the lizard gets larger and more menacing. In about 30 years, we’ll be telling each other about “that time when we were attacked by a man-eating alligator!”