2007…kinda ended ick.

Where to begin? Well I can say that 2007 had its fair share of ups and downs. And it unded on the last possible day with a down, down, down. Earlier in the day I had been explaining in a calm and and controlled parental tone to my children, which they might have construed, perhaps in their misinformed youth as ‘yelling’ or possibly ‘mom’s face getting really red and her talking getting louder and faster adn dude, sh’s gonna blow!’ about their CONSTANT BICKERING. For those of you with more than one child you all know what I am talking about. (And if your kids are all perfect, well hahah, they are figments of your imagination) My kid have a hate/hate relationship. They annoy each other for the sheer joy it brings them to see the other irritated as all get out. I basically have two only children that happen to live in the same family. They have not much in common and the only thing they enjoy doing together is fighting. I think mainly they do it to try to make my head explode, but probably more for their own pleasure. And I regret to say history is repeating itself when to my horror I have uttered the phrase in complete distress and teetering on the edge of parental sanity, “WHY DO YOU HIT EACH OTHER????!!! I DON”T HIT YOU!!!” And I gasp as I realize my mother’s curse on me has come true… YES MOM! I had children that were JUST LIKE ME AND MY SISTERS!

So while I was sputtering, or explaining to them that I had to work on Wednesday and I had no babysitting and I was thinking about leaving them alone I actually had to be concerned about getting a call at work that went something like, “Mom, Sophie isnt moving.” And when I ask what happened the reply is, “Well, she called me a dork so I HAD to push her down the stairs! I mean, what ELSE could I DO???” And I told them that even though I wouldn’t leave until 9:30am and my boyfriend would be coming home at noon to check on them and stay until 1pm and i would leave work at 2pm and I would call them exactly every half hour on the dot that I found it sad that I can’t trust them not to put each other into full body casts in those in between times. So. They felt sufficiently guilty and sad and puppy dogs eyes and “Sorry mom’ed” me up one side and down the other. And I felt good. Cause now they felt MY pain. And it is a parent’s right to guilt their children into behaving if the end justifies the means. And two intact children with with no hospital visits indeed justified the means. And on we went about our day. Thinking I might be able to let them stay alone.

Then we got ready for me to take Noah to his sleep over. It was New Year’s Eve and he was going to a friend’s house and Best Boyfriend Ever, the Soph and I were going up to my sister’s for Russian New Year’s. (Don’t ask, I will tell ya later. But her baby doesn’t understand a lick of English and trying to talk to a baby that only understands Russian can be both comical and frustrating. But I digress.) So we all get ready.

We are getting ready to go and I ask Soph if she wants to stay since Best Boyfriend Ever is on his way home and I will be 10 minutes total time roundtrip. She says, “Um, no, I’ll just go.” Which is odd cause ya know, time to watch Hannah Montana without big bro annoying the pi…bothering her, is golden. But she wants to go and they even don’t fight abot who called front seat first. Guilt people, the other white meat. It works.

So as I pull out I get behind a car at the red light at our corner. I notice for some reason the light blue color Passat. It’s pretty. And for some reason I notice the three people in it. They are all big. They look like a clown car, all too big people in a teeny car. I notice the man in the back turning around a bit. I notice his Team USA hat. It is a long red light and I ponder a lot. Never can tell you directions, but I can let you know there was the prettiest bluejay on the tippy top of an evergreen near some house that had perwinkle shutters. Perwinkle, you don’t see that much. I bet the owners are fun and whimsicle. Perwinkle, I just like to say that word, and i do love the color. It looks so pretty next to a nice buttercup yellow. I never really am sure I’ve ever seen a buttercup, do they look like daffodils? Do I confuse them with honeysuckle? I love the smell of honeysuckle, it is the smell of summer after my dad has cut the grass when i was 10…. And that is why i don’t know where I am going half the time and I am always a half hour late… Now you know the voices in my head…

So anyway, as the light changes the Passat’s hazards go on. I have to go around them and I am mildly annoyed as I tell boyfriend that I will be home in 10 minutes and he will likely make it home before me. So i drop off the Dude and as I am almost home Boyfriend calls. “Where are you?” he asks in a tone that says, things are WRONG. “Why, what happened?” I ask. “We just got broken into and the dogs are missing along with a lot of our stuff.”

Yeah. Just like that. And can you guess who it was? There was a woman driver in a blue Passat sitting in our drive way when he got home. See, we have a circular driveway on a corner lot off a busy road. Lots of people use the end of our driveway to turn around so he didn’t think anything off it. He found it slightly odd when she took off down are street and then drove past again a few minutes later. This time with two big men in it. Apparently, she must have called them in the house to get out. When he walked in he saw they had tried to break in the front door. It was pretty splintered but held. But they managed to kick in the back door with such force that our floors have knicks where the deadbolt struck it. We found Lucy hiding in a back room terrified. Rufus was missing, but came home about an hour later with a cut foot which has since stopped bleeding.

They got my work laptop, boyfriend’s brand new laptop and my son’s computer. Plus all his new Christmas presents and his saxophone. They got my digital camera and other odds and ends. They went through my drawers, my closet, ripping open boxes that had labels like “Noah’s coming home from the hospital stuff” and ” Sophie’s handmade dresses when toddler” Yeah, that was fun. And just like that 2007 offically got really bad.

And I know how lucky we are. I know that Soph was NOT in the house. Even if I feel like suckiest mom ever for all the times I had let them stay alone before. I know that Best Boyfriend Ever listened to an NPR program end so that he gave them enough time to get out and he did not walk in on them. I know all that. And it still sucks. A lot. That is just where i am right now. I am the girl that always says people are too paranoid, people over react, the kids can handle staying by themselves for 10 minutes. I always said I could sleep with my doors and windows open cause i have two 100 lb barking scary alarms systems. But ya know what? These dogs were zero deterent. And now I watch if a car drives by too slowly. And I get up and look out the window at what used to be annoying barking and now give treats and say ‘good dog,’ even if it was just the wind. We have metals doors and a new alarms system now. And just like that we are “the other people” that this happens too. Just like that. And my kids probably won’t be left alone again until they go to college. And even then I may just go with them.

And no I didn’t have renter’s insurance. And yes I know how dumb that was and yes ironically we had just discussed it. A day late and a dollar short. And if you know someone that this happens too, don’t ask if they had it, cause it makes you feel like after someone broke down MY door and took MY family’s stuff, but somehow it is MY fault when I can’t replace it and that feeling sucks. So yeah, keep that gem to yourself cause the second it happens you realize you don’t have it and you are S.O.L. But damn skippy I had insurance at midnight when the big ball dropped in Times Square. The internet is amazing. But it was still 5 hours too late.

So anyway, that was how 2007 ended. And I made it very clear to everyone that this happened in 2007 and it in NO WAY indicates what 2008 will be like. And last night as my kids slept in the same bed and have not bickered once and been the most polite to each other since they were born, we prayed. And we prayed for God to help us through this and to make our family stronger. And we asked angels to watch over our house and to make us feel safe again. And then, hardest of all we prayed for the people that did this to us. Because as angry as we are, and still are, putting that hate out there in the world won’t help. And ya know what, maybe God can help them. Maybe they will at least feel bad and that will make them turn their life around. And I want to believe that even if it is a bit Mary Poppins. So I guess it changed me, but my rose colored glasses somehow didn’t break. I might look at strangers a bit more warily now, but I have to at least hope for the best.

So 2008 will start with me knowing that my family is the most precious thing in the world to me and God watched over us very carefully on New Year’s Eve. And God, thank you, thank you from the depth of my soul for protecting my family. There are no words to express my gratitude to you for keeping them all safe. Cause they are what I work for, paint for, breathe for and live for.

Ok, 2008 bring it on, I’m ready for a party!

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