I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but I often fantasize about how I would react in terrible situations.
It’s something I’ve done all my life; typically, the situations involved friends or family being in danger. However, the daydreams have become far more frequent since I became a father.
It seems to have awoke the protective instinct in me with a vengeance.
These imaginary situations range from my daughter being kidnapped, to her falling on a train track, to encountering a bear on our family camping trip.
Sometimes, I get myself so worked up thinking about it that I’ll find my heart pounding and my hands clenching, and I actually have to force myself to calm down.
My fantasies, though diverse, all end the same: I protect my family at any cost, and I make whatever wants to hurt them pay.
In reality, I know these ridiculous, over the top scenarios that couldn’t be more unlikely for an average, middle-aged pencil pusher like me to actually encounter.
Furthermore, while I know I would gladly die for my wife and my little daughter, I know it’s highly unlikely my actions in a crisis situation would be very impressive.
More likely they would involve a lot of cowering, screaming, and pissing my pants.
Yes, I always knew those daydreams were foolish. What I didn’t realize, until today, however, was how *simplistic* they were.
I always faced the ‘bad guys’, destroyed the threat (or perished trying), and protected my family. Life is rarely so straightforward.
I should know.
Because today, I ran out the door in a rush after kissing my wife goodbye, my thoughts preoccupied with the busy day ahead of me.
Today, as I backed down the driveway, I looked down for a second to fumble for a paper that had fallen out of my briefcase.
Today, I heard a small cry as my tires went over an unfamiliar bump in the driveway, and my wife started to scream.
Today, I realized how far short the worse things I imagined fell from reality.