#2, our 11 year old, woke up last night yelling something about aliens and bright blue lights. It was 4 AM and I'm not too interested in alien life forms that don't live in my house, so I was a little slow to respond.
His sisters met me at their door as I passed by and asked sleepily, "What's going on?"
"Apparently the aliens have come to eat our brains or something," was my reassuring reply.
"Okay," my eldest yawned. "Do you think I'll have time to go back to sleep before they get to me?" The two girls stumbled back to bed as I smirked at their sarcastic ways.
By the time I staggered into his room (it was soooo early), he had turned on all the lights at his end of the hall and had awakened everyone else in the house. #2 was crouched in front of his window with coat hangers positioned between his fingers like claws. He reminded me of a wild cat ready to pounce.
#3, age 9, leaned sleepily against the wall, also sporting coat hanger claws as he yawned and tried valiantly to stay awake.
The moment he spotted me, my eldest boy began haranguing me with the tale of floating men, blinding blue lights, alien snakes that slithered through the window frame, and extraterrestrial conspiracies. (The 1 year old who shares his room just stared at my blearily with a look that clearly said, "You've got to be kidding me.") As I tried to calm #2 down, I glanced occasionally at his 9 year old brother who propped up the doorway and shook his head.
I sent my hyped-up son down the hall to tell his father about the alien invasion while I scooted the rest of the boys back to bed. As I tucked #3 in, I asked him what was up with the coat hangers as he clearly wasn't worried about aliens.
"It was all in his mind, Mom." My wise son told me. "It was so obvious that he was dreaming, but there was a chance he wasn't...so I thought 'He's my brother...it's my job to have his back,' besides....I couldn't let him have all the fun fighting aliens, could I?"
Indeed not. So... here's to my sons who bravely battle aliens with coat hanger claws....and to brotherhood which makes you stand beside someone you know is crazy, ready to defend the universe together...if it comes to that.