As we walked up to the house from the car, we hadn't a care in the world. The sun was shining, we'd all had a good day according to the post-school report in the car ride home. Loaded with the typical 100- pound purse, a plethora of lunch boxes and discarded snack wrappers, I turned the key in the door without a thought. And then our tiny world exploded. After a nervous look from my dog at the door, I began to take it all in. Glass shards littered the floor like fallen snow; the contents of every drawer in the house exposed, vulnerable on the floor. My bed overturned, refrigerator and freezer gaping wide open, and TV MIA. Then I took a long gasp of air and said it, "We've been robbed."
That's when I realized I'd been clutching the two tiny hands that flanked my sides. I quickly followed the path of those hands to the large, startled orbs that were also taking in the devastation to our home. Our home. Our home that was now violated, its innards turned inside-out, contaminated with the blood of an intruder. Drops of blood began at the broken door and ended at my husband's sock drawer where multiple pairs were used as make-shift compresses. I had to think. Call 911, get the kids outside, and for the love of god, don't cry, don't cry...
My son immediately started crying as I ushered them to the neighbor's house, "I hate our house! I want to move!" rang out in a cry atypical from his normal dramatic fits. This cry was real; he was terrified. My daughter, who is three, didn't quite understand what was going on, but still managed to evaluate, "Our house is broken, mom." As the police came, my son began collecting evidence (hairballs from under the couch that were there long before the thief) and placing Legos at the doors as booby traps.
This episode has made me think a lot about my family's security. I've made sure to talk about it with them and carry on normal routines, inform their teachers, and put on a smiling, secure face (even though I left work early to check the house prior to picking up my children the following day). They seem to be sleeping at night, playing without fear, and surprisingly haven't mentioned the TV once, but how do I know? When will this resurface or will it ever. Kids are resilient, I've read bazillion articles on line in the past couple of days that has told me so, but then there was that cry. I heard the fear in it. The TV can be replaced, but innocence can't.