Strange things are seen in the city. And I love this place more every day.

Last week it was a helicopter. Right outside my window.

Now, I have seen many movies where helicopters fly in and out of buildings in big cities, hunting down whichever character is on the run, using their big spotlights. It makes perfect sense that inside some of those buildings, there would be real people, living real lives, yet I never really thought about that until I was one of those people.

It was some time around half an hour to midnight. Noah was asleep in his bedroom, and that particular night he had had a particularly rough time falling asleep. Suddenly the sound of chopping blades grew nearer in a hurry until it sounded like a helicopter was going to come right through my bedroom window. My first thought was, crap, now Noah will never go back to sleep. My second thought was, this is going to end with Noah kicking me in the face all night long, isn’t it. My final thought (which was quite late to the party) was, hot diggity dang, there’s a helicopter outside my window!

Now, it should be noted what a badass I am not that it never even occurred to me that this helicopter might be there for me. I might have been being hunted. Hey, it’s possible. I did go 8 MPH over the speed limit while driving earlier that afternoon. Yeah. I am a badass. Maybe they were there for me.

They weren’t.

I did want to see though. I bolted out of bed and out onto my balcony just as the chopper lifted and flew out of sight above the building. I don’t know if it was a news chopper, or a police chopper, or maybe even a medical chopper, but I can say with authority that it was indeed a helicopter. Not a UFO. Not a drone. And definitely not a figment of my imagination. Er. At least I hope it wasn’t. I always leave at least a 2% chance that I’m just plain ol’ crazy at this point.

The sound of its violent clacking quickly disappeared into the distance behind me. “Daddy, what was that?” I was just waiting for Noah to come slumbering out of his bedroom, nervous and wide awake while he squeaked those words. But… he never showed. I tip toed to his bedside where one leg was dangling precariously over the edge, just begging for whatever monsters lie beneath to snag him up and drag him away. His head was buried between two pillows, his lips scrunched together by the weight of them.

As much as I was happy that he slept through it, I was kind of bummed, too. The rest of our lives we could have talked about the helicopter outside our window, and how scary it was, and how awesome it was, and how out of the norm it was. Instead, all I got was a smile and a nod when I told him about it over our oatmeal and toast the next morning. Oh, well. So goes parenting.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing