Oh shoot, he’s pointing a knife at me.

This thought pounded through my mind as I stood across from the boy holding the knife at me. This was the last thing I ever expected to happen to me. Travel to foreign countries? No problem. Hang out under bridges with the homeless? No problem there either. Babysit a badly-behaved 12-year-old boy in a wealthy suburb? Get a knife pulled on me.

I had been watching this boy since August and knew he rarely received any sort of discipline even though he wasn’t a well-mannered child. I expected the cursing, a little bit of hitting, rude comments, and more than my fair share of insults. I never expected to have a knife pulled on me.

“John, put the knife down now.” I used what I refer to as my “mommy-I-mean-it” voice. It’s low, serious, and angry. I don’t play around.

Eventually, he lays the long, steak knife down on the kitchen island that separates the two of us. I am forever thankful for that kitchen island. Without it, I may have quite a number of stitches in my body right now. He eyes move from the knife to my face, and the moment they do, I grab the knife and throw it onto the table behind me. The last thing I needed was for him to pick the knife up again.

Okay, crisis over.

Realizing he had lost possession of the knife, and therefore all power over the situation, John says, “Okay, fine then.” He turns around and from the wooden block on the counter, pulls out a much larger knife and points that at me menacingly.

…or not. 

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