Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

You never know fear until you become a parent

We were having dinner at my in-laws one night when my oldest kids were 2 and 3.

They live out in the country next to a small pond.

Wed go over there and put the kids downstairs to watch a movie while we ate dinner. The back door of the basement opened out into the yard which lead directly to the lake.

The kids were little enough though, that they couldnt unlock the doors. Theyd eat their dinner and watch a movie and wed get to have a few minutes of adult conversation.

A perfect setup.

On this particular night, we got partway through dinner and I realized it was too quiet. I went down stairs to check on the kids.

And the back door was open.

The door leading to the lake.

I yelled for Jane that the kids were gone and ran down to the water.

The water was so murky, I couldnt see anything. It felt like forever, standing there trying to decide where to jump in to start looking.

And then I heard laughing and looked up to see the kids coming down the driveway. Theyd gone outside, up the driveway, and come immediately back.

My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to be sick and I had nightmares for days.

To date, the scariest thing thats ever happened to me.