My hubby came up with this brilliant idea, but you can borrow it if you want

So my hubby started something with my daughter about two years ago and it’s brilliant. He started this thing where whenever Zoey wants to talk about something private with him, she just has to say the word lockdown to him and they go into a room just the two of them and she can talk about whatever it is.

A fear.

A feeling.

A boy.

A girl.

Her brother who’s driving her bonkers.



And I have to admit at first I was a little jealous. I mean she kept saying lockdown and pulling him into rooms to have these awesome private conversations without me, but even though I felt a little left out, I wouldn’t have stopped it for the world. A. I love seeing their close relationship, and B. I always want her to have someone (anyone!!) to talk to when she needs it.

But the other day, something amazing has happened. I was washing dishes in the kitchen and she popped into the room for the first time and said…

ZOEY: Mom, lockdown.

ME: What? Lockdown? Me????!!

I literally dropped a pot in the sink I was so excited and I wiped my wet hands on my pants and sprinted to her room where we shut the door and talked. I’m not gonna share what we talked about because, well, lockdown, but suddenly in the middle of our very private conversation the door burst open.


ZOEY: Holden, get out!!!! We’re having lockdown!!

HOLDEN: I want one!!


ME: Holden, honey, you’re next. As soon as I’m done with Zoey, I’ll come meet you in your room.

HOLDEN: I want a lockdown too.

ME: Okay, go wait for me and I’ll come in soon.

And Zoey and I talked for a while longer until we were all finished. 

ZOEY: Thanks Mom.

ME: Anytime.

And I meant it. ANYTIME. And then I walked to Holden’s room.

ME: Hey, buddy.

HOLDEN: Shhhhhh.

And he shut the door and turned off his lights and made us crouch behind his bed.

ME: What do you want to talk about?

HOLDEN: Mom, shhhhhh, we have to be quiet. We’re having a lockdown. There’s a bad guy in the building and we can’t make a sound.

And I immediately realized what he was doing. He was having a lockdown drill like they do at school, you know, in case a person with a gun gets into the building. So I stayed there on the ground for a few minutes being completely silent, but then my mind started to think about real lockdowns and a roomful of students crouched together hiding from a crazed person with a gun and tears started to well up in my eyes. If I stayed there any longer I probably would have burst out crying so I said, “Okay, buddy, lockdown’s over!!”

HOLDEN: Then can we cuddle in bed instead?

ME: Absolutely.

So we crawled into his bed and had a little cuddle time.

Because seriously, I’ll take any kind of lockdown I can get with my kids. Whether it’s a serious conversation, or a lockdown drill, or just a little cuddle time. They’re all super important. And even though my hubby came up with the idea of lockdown years ago and it was really just for him and Zoey, if other people want to use it too, that only makes it better.

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There are 7 comments for this article
  1. Avra at 10:54 am

    The association that Holden has with the word “lockdown” makes me so sad. I’m thankful that I don’t personally have to deal with this anymore – my kids are out of school. But my daughter just became a 1st grade teacher – the intense fear is still with me. Maybe by having this drill with you son you made him a little less afraid – bravo.

  2. Melissa Chatwell at 12:15 pm

    I heart this on so many levels. The part where you admit that you feel a little jealous, but also the part that you just want to know that your children have someone, anyone, to talk to, even if it isn’t you. Parenthood is an endless string of opportunities to be selfless. It’s exhausting and depressing and (did I already say exhausting?) with very few opportunities of fulfilment thrown in…basically just the barest amount to keep you going. Understanding the legitimate need for our children to have someone to talk to is HUGE, a mistake I made when I raised my own boys. I wanted that person to be me and I didn’t make sure that they had even a backup person for this role. I greatly regret that. It wasn’t really a conscious decision at the time, but I regret that it wasn’t. I thought that I was enough and, because we had that great relationship, I didn’t go outside our family for it and so badly now wish I had. Now that my kids are launched, I’ve become involved in our county mentoring system for at-risk youth and am so profoundly grateful for those parents out there who’ve recognized this need for their own children and have reached out to organizations like the one of which I am a part. And I’m SO honored and grateful to have the opportunity to now be “that person” for other children. If you have children at home, I can’t more strongly encourage finding them an adult mentor that can be with them for at least a year (possibly longer), someone in their life on whom they can count that is ONLY there for them. If you no longer have children at home and feel pulled to be “that person” for someone else, look into your local county offices for opportunities. The need is out there and it’s GREAT. The ability to share your experience and mentor a young mind is invaluable. Believe me: You’ll learn SO much <3

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