Sometimes I joke that the best way to describe my house is “looks like we just got robbed.” In my living room there are toys everywhere, books strewn off the shelf, a chair over-turned — it’s the normal scene in my house.
It’s always been just a joke until last week. I went to pick David up from school, came home and we all ate lunch. We’d been home for at least a half-hour before I realized our house had been robbed.
Robbed. For real, burglarized. Someone broke into our home, went through our belongings and stole things.
I’m saying it over and over mostly for me — because it still seems surreal. Bizarre.
While I was gone, someone climbed through a window and went through our stuff. They didn’t get much, just a few electronics. Since I wasn’t gone long they didn’t have much time to empty us out. The way things were left — our TV and computer were both unplugged and poised to be carried out — it seems like I caught them in the act. I pulled up, brought the kids inside, and then ran back out to the car to get a few bags. And, who knows, maybe for a few moments a stranger was inside with my kids. Maybe if things hadn’t been so hectic I’d have heard footsteps or a door slam. I’ll never know and, frankly, it doesn’t matter because we’re all safe. But that’s the sort of thing your imagination runs away with.
We live in a safe neighborhood in a modest home. It was broad daylight and our doors were locked. And I was only gone for 30 minutes.
When I realized what happened, I panicked and threw all the cushions off our couch looking for my phone — I called Tom and ran outside with the kids while he did what you’re supposed to do — he called the police. In less than five minutes Tom was home and the police officer had arrived. Thirty minutes after that David was in the front seat of a police cruiser learning how to turn on the lights.
Like I said, they didn’t get much, and they didn’t vandalize our home at all. The biggest loss was our camera. We have a nice DSLR. I mean, we had a nice DSLR. And now the quality of photos I post on the blog is going to take a steep dive.
They also took a really old iPod that we use as a sound machine for David when he sleeps. The sound is a source of comfort for David, and when we tried to put him to sleep without it, he cried and asked me to PLEASE! PLEASE FIX IT! Did you plug it in, Mommy? Check it!
We think they could sell it for maybe $20. Max.
We have insurance, and nothing that was taken was irreplaceable — I’d even already uploaded all the files off the camera. The things aren’t important, but the aftermath is the worst part. I’m from a small town and am pretty trusting, but Tom and I are both uncharacteristically paranoid now. We spend more time than normal double-checking and re-checking. We still wonder if things are missing or moved that we haven’t noticed. The sense of security we value feeling in our home is marred. Instead, we feel vulnerable and violated. I keep imagining someone in our home, looking at the pictures on our walls and harming us anyway. They stole something out of my child’s bedroom.
We’re shaken up enough that we’re making some decisions about our home security. In the mean time, I’m still processing what happened. Recently, though, it’s occurred to me that perhaps it’s good to be shaken occasionally — to be reminded that things are just things and this world we live in is temporary; it’s not our home. The security we feel in our living rooms behind locked doors should be held loosely and our trust placed in the unshakable grip Jesus has on us.
Tom and I are angry, but we’re thankful because this could have been worse, much worse. We’re thankful but we’re also anxious, and praying that this will teach us to trust God anew.