Archive | January 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Saturday morning I woke up before anyone else.  It has been a long week: break-in, thief caught, mother in law totaled her car, meeting with ADT about the security system, being trapped at home all week because we were afraid to leave the house unattended.

So I went into our front room on Saturday morning while my husband and daughter slept.  I sat on the couch by the windows and perused some blogs on my phone (because my laptop was stolen).  It was peaceful, quiet.  I read a post geared toward new first time moms and remembered being one of those.

Then I started to think about Miss P, still passed out in her bed.  When would she wake up?  What adventures would we have today?  What funny things would she say (seriously, the kid has us in stitches sun-up to sundown)?  How many times could I demand Eskimo kisses from her before she rand and hid under the coffee table?

And that’s really how I feel.  I honestly love this kid and everything she brings to my life.  There are hard days, of course.  She’s 2 and that is to be expected.  But most days are FUN with a capital F U N.

Friday night when we were talking with the ADT sales guy, we told him Miss P was two.  We got the usual reply: “Just wait until she becomes a teenager!”

I never understand why people say things that are meant to be discouraging to parents of young children.  We know that every day isn’t going to be wine and roses.  We know every year, every month, every day being their own sets of challenges.  We’re in it for the long haul.

Miss P is my dream come true.  Well, technically she’s not the two boys I thought I would have, but she’s better!  She is real and funny and smart and loving and when I think about the long, childless life I thought I was going to have, I want to go in and scoop her up and smother her in kisses again.

I posted about my morning thoughts on Facebook and had a friend respond that with that attitude it was sure to be a good day, and she was going to think about it as she went through her day with her small ones, as well.  That wasn’t why I posted it, but I’m glad if my thoughts helped someone else’s attitude for even a few hours.

Raising children is hard, but it’s harder if we look at it like a job.  I’m going to try to remember to live every day like it is an adventure.

The Victim

On Friday morning Miss P decided to sleep in.  I love that we have the flexibility of this.

I was sitting at the kitchen counter closest to her bedroom door on the computer.  My phone rang at 7 am, and I snatched it up and answered it before the ringing could wake her up.

Stage Whisper: HELLO?

This is a call from the Florida Statewide crime victim information network.  We are calling to inform you of the status of inmate last name ____ first name ______.  This inmate is still in custody…

I blinked.  There was the option to repeat the information so I grabbed a pen and paper and took down the inmate name, the number for the victim information network and other pertinent details.

You see, the thief who broke into our house was apprehended on Thursday.  With some of our stuff.  That’s right, we’re getting at least some of our stolen items back.  And the scum who broke our bedroom window and pawed through my undergarments is in jail.

It was weird hearing that term: crime victim.  I mean, I know we were victims of a crime.  I just haven’t really seen myself as a victim.

I saw him.  I saw his vehicle, got a description and the tag number.  I was able to give police the information they needed to catch him.  That’s empowering.  I don’t feel like a victim at all.

I did have some nights where sleep was tough, but things could have turned out so much worse.  I could have come home and found him in the act, found myself on the business end of the gun he had.  I didn’t.

I had already let go of the things he stole.  I have been burglarized before and never recovered a single item that was taken.  I didn’t expect this to be any different.   Now we’re going to have some duplicates.

New laptop is on the way.  New DVR was received.  New TV in the livingroom.  New ADT system installed.

2015 taketh away, but it also giveth.  #notavictim

The Violation

Yesterday started like any other day.  It was a bit overcast, and we had been up late so we were feeling lazy.  The newest farmer’s market opened at noon, so the plan was to go there and see what we could see, then come home, have lunch and nap.

We left around noon, just as the rain started (of course).  Went to the farmers market anyway, only to find them lacking in the things I wanted, mainly bananas.  I still managed to spend about $15, but got precious little except soaked jeans and a soaked toddler.  I decided to hit the grocery store before heading home.

Coming down the street I could see our driveway through the hedges in the empty lot to the west of our house.  There was a dark vehicle in the driveway.  I was confused.  I wasn’t expecting anyone.  I was still heading toward the house, but I slowed way down, my brain trying to figure out what was going on.

As I neared the driveway I caught sight of someone sitting in the vehicle, which was backed in to the driveway, at the top near the garage door.  He caught sight of me, as well, and pulled out of the driveway in a hurry, turning right in front of me and hurrying off.  Still not understanding, I made metal note of the license number and some characteristics of the vehicle.

I pulled into the driveway and looked at the door.  Open, but not all the way.  I could see the locks and latches disengaged.  I had locked that, hadn’t I?

Things suddenly started to make sense.  I ran to the door, car still running with daughter inside.  Opened the door and looked in: things missing, furniture overturned.  I ran back to the car to get my phone, trying to dial 911 with shaking fingers.  A veritable army of officers showed up 5 or so minutes later, though it felt like a lifetime.

He broke in through our bedroom window and went out the front door, scooping up small electronic gadgets, probably coming back for our TV, though he may have taken that first.  The TV, a laptop, two Kindles, my husband’s high school diploma (???), the DVR, a DVD player, some sundry other items including a wallet with no debit or credit cards in it, just my drivers license.  The screen to the window was mangled almost beyond recognition, and we’re still finding glass everywhere.

As I lay in bed last night, long after the glazier had left and my husband’s team won the national championship, I wondered where this man had been.  He had dumped out my husband’s top dresser drawer, and chose the top drawer of my dresser closest to the bedside: dumped and strewn.  A small keepsake box on my dresser was emptied of its contents, high school keepsakes scattered everywhere, my National Honor Society ropes in a tangled heap.  I tried to imagine him moving through our bedroom.

I think about all of the stupid things we’ve been putting off: switching the renters insurance over (not done, so no coverage, I’m sure), getting the security monitoring to the house started (though we just talked about this a month ago) and keeping track of serial numbers (something I’ve never done).

I remember initially talking to the police officers, then calling my husband.  As he answered and I told him what had happened I felt guilty, like this was somehow my fault.  He doesn’t feel that way and seems surprised that I do.

I also keep wondering what if.  What if I’d decided to come home earlier?  What if instinct had kicked in and I’d tried to block him in to keep him from leaving?  What if I’d confronted him?  Things could have gone so differently.

The stuff may be gone but we’re fine and I’m happy with the way things turned out.  I don’t hold my breath to get our stuff back, but you never know.