This morning I told my oldest daughter to grab my wallet for me that I had left in the baby bag inside our minivan. I don't always leave the bag in the car, and I don't always have cash in my wallet (I actually almost never carry cash, except for this week randomly to do the Christmas shopping, buying our Christmas tree, Book Fair stuff and teacher's gifts). But this day it was in there, and when she went to grab it for me she told me that my stuff was all spilled out, and there was no cash.
I had left the car unlocked, I flashed back to me carrying in the baby, a couple grocery bags, my hands full, I walked in and didn't go back out to lock the car or grab my big bulky baby bag. And we were robbed.
A bunch of us were, actually. But even though the evidence was pretty clear that someone had stolen the money, I was convinced at first I had somehow lost it. I tore the house apart, thinking maybe I had put it in my pocket and it had fallen out. I searched high and low, making myself crazy, filled with anxiety about losing that much money. I was filled with guilt for being so irresponsible. I was even about to go searching through the garbage bags thinking that my toddler had gotten it from my wallet and had thrown it out (she likes to throw stuff in the garbage, I don't know). Right before I could convince myself to tear open the garbage bags my neighbor came over and told me that they had also gotten robbed, and a bunch of other houses too. Her daughter had her entire paycheck stolen. Pretty soon the State Troopers were here telling us about all the houses that were hit, and it made me almost sick to my stomach.
We are lucky to live in a nice neighborhood, full of families, and everyone has always been respectful and neighborly and I love living here. It was also what I perceived to be a safe neighborhood. We have a security system and I lock my doors but I regularly would leave stuff in my car, unlocked, without thinking anything about it. I also let the kids walk to friends houses, and people are always out walking their dogs, jogging, doing the usual neighborhood stuff.
I sat here and tried to put a positive spin on it, it's just money, we have our health, no one got hurt, but mostly I just kept thinking man this just really SUCKS. I'll figure it all out. It's not that bad. I kept telling myself that it'll be fine. But I just have this sinking feeling in my stomach that I can't shake. Right before the holidays, when the kids are thinking Santa's coming down the chimney soon, someone walks up our driveway and robs us while we are all asleep. I even saw their footprints in the snow, leading right to our door where they unscrewed our motion sensor light before robbing us. I just felt...horrible. And angry. And sad. And scared.
But, I'm going to just push through it. And instead of letting this "gang" (as the police described it to us) make us feel crappy during the season where you are supposed to feel giving and loving and festive and happy, I am going to spread some cheer by baking cookies. Yes, I'm going to bake as many frigging cookies as I can and give them to each and every neighbor that I can so they know that we do live in a nice neighborhood, that we do look out for each other, that the season isn't ruined because of this. It's a small gesture, I realize that, but I have to do something to put some positivity back into this space where we live and raise our children. I have to remind myself of the good out there, of the good here. And I have to remind myself that, actually, that's what the holidays are all about.
I wanted to write this to remind all of you to do this for each other. For so many different reasons, the holidays can be so hard for people. Maybe they have lost a loved one, maybe someone is dealing with health issues, maybe someone can't afford presents, maybe they are just going through a tough time, the holidays just seem to amplify that stuff. So while you're out searching high and low for a Hatchimal (seriously where ARE THEY) just pause, remember the joy, and spread some of that joy, and keep the joy going. Love will always win out. xoxo