This afternoon I received a telephone call regarding my next door neighbor’s home. It was from the company that maintains the alarm on his home. They had recorded an attempt to break-in and had been unable to contact him.
His house and mine share a wall that divides his property from mine. We get along quite well and it is not unusual for us to housesit for each other. Good neighbors look out for each other and we do that.
But, that aside when I heard that there had been an attempt to break in I was quite concerned because that means that someone was less than 10 feet from my home. That means that someone of low moral character and questionable integrity had the indecency and lack of consideration to think that they could try and take what is not theirs and that it is possible that they could target my home.
Some of you may remember that last year my wife’s purse was stolen at Target. I have a long memory. Every time I return to that store I scan the aisles and look for the people that were involved. It is not something that I dwell on, but every now and then my son asks about it. Every now and then my son talks about thieves because he experienced the sordid side of life earlier than he should have. They stole a small piece of his innocence and it burns.
Sometimes it hurts because that is just not supposed to happen. The big boy still looks at me as being Superman and the truth is that sometimes I feel like I failed. I was face to face with the guy. My gut told me that I had him and I let it go. It makes me angry because I feel like I could have saved that part of his innocence, I could have kept him free from this for a little longer.
Life takes that innocence from us all too quickly. I fight so freaking hard to keep those kids safe and free of worry. But, things happen as they happen and it could have been much uglier than it was.
Fast forward back to the present. It is one thing to steal a purse at a store and quite another to come to a person’s home. I am realistic about things. It is possible that someone could break in here and rob us. It would be a complete violation and a terrible thing, but all I really care about is the safety of my family.
At the same time I have to vent a little. I have to be honest and say that if I caught someone breaking into my home and threatening my family I would introduce them to their own private corner of hell. I would bring down the kind of shitstorm on their head that would make Satan himself hide in some dark corner of Hades.
When I got home from work I spent time checking out my neighbor’s house. I walked around the entire property. I covered the exterior and the interior. I found a window that someone had tried to pry open. It was a confirmation that someone had been there.
So I spent a few minutes and did what I could to fix the window so that it would lock again. The reality is that if someone wants to get in, they will get in. The same is true of my house. We don’t live in armed compounds. The castle walls are in my head and the drawbridge is a plain swing door.
I suspect that this was nothing more than a crime of opportunity and don’t really expect them to return. And if they do they’ll find plenty of evidence that we are aware that they were there and hopefully that will be enough to send them on their way.
What I am really saying is that all we can do is live our lives. We go about our business and hope and pray that the monster in the closet stays imaginary and nothing more. And now you know one more thing that occasionally robs a father of sleep at night.