I don't know if that is the correct term for it, but it is more fun to say that "burglarized". So yeah, that happened yesterday.
I'm sort of out of school right now, as this week and next are finals weeks and I only have three interspersed over 10 days of school. Since I usually volunteer at the kids' school before class on Tuesday, I went in with them and stayed longer than usual just because I could. It was a nice morning of sorting books and helping the counselor and librarian make hot cocoa and pass out gingerbread cookies to the classes that would come through. Just as I was about to leave, KayTar spotted me and asked me to have lunch with her. Actually, she sort of begged and threw in a "But I've been waiting ALL OF KINDERGARTEN for you to have lunch with me!" Who can say no to that? So I stayed, though my tummy was grumbling since I had skipped breakfast, and then when BubTar spotted me in the cafeteria, I stayed for his lunch, too. After all the lunching was over, I left the school and swung by Dairy Queen for a quick lunch to bring home and eat before it was time to turn around and go pick the kids up.
As I pulled up to the house, I reflexively reached up to my garage door opener and hit the button and started to pull into the driveway...then I saw it. The front door was wide open. I guess I'm an optimist, because I sort of thought Josh might have accidentally left it unlocked and the wind had sucked it open or something. However, I'm not an idiot, so I stopped short and called Josh before pulling into the drive. He said, "I know I locked it. Leave and call the cops." My stomach sank a little. I asked him to call the cops and meet me at home, because the last time I called the cops it was because I thought I heard a gun shot and it turned out to be a squirrel getting fried by a transformer on the power line. I didn't really want to make another unnecessary call, which I was really hoping this would be. I parked at the end of the block, so I could watch the front door in case anyone came out. They didn't. A few minutes later I saw a police officer enter the house, so I pulled up in front of it. He said, "Is this your house, ma'am? Was this bag here when you left this morning?" He pointed to a duffel bag on the floor in the entryway. The bag Josh brings to the shooting range. It definitely had not been there when we left. Then I knew.
Josh pulled up moments later and we both sat in my van while we waiting for the officers to clear the house. I hoped our dog was alive. I was so worried that whoever had done this had shot her. I hoped the presents and tree were still there, I didn't want the kids to learn there are real Grinches in the world. A few seconds or eternities later, the officers called up inside. Penny was fine. The presents were under the tree. The house was in disarray. Josh's guns were gone (he's a hunter and he likes to go to the range for fun, he had more than a few, some had been handed down to him, even). My camera, my beloved camera, was gone. My favorite lens, gone. Our living room TV was gone. We went into the bedroom, it had been ransacked. Our TV was gone. My laptop and iPod touch, gone. Every time we noted something else that was missing, my stomach dropped lower. All of my favorite non-living things, gone in a blink. The laundry basket was gone, too, I suppose they needed it to carry things out.
Our house had been locked up tight, but it didn't matter. They must have known our schedule, because it seems like they took their time getting inside. First, they borrowed a hammer from our tool shed and pried off the sheet metal scratch guard from the backdoor, hoping for a hole there, I guess. Then they tried to use the same hammer, OUR hammer, to pry open a back window, bending the frame in the process, but getting nowhere. Finally, they used OUR hammer to shatter the window, reach in, and unlatch it. Then they climbed through, gathered up our things, and walked out the front door in the middle of the day. Just.like.that.
We told the kids last night. BubTar said, "Did you check my books? Are they all still here?!" KayTar said, "Are my stuffed animals okay?" After we assured them their prized possessions were safe, BubTar suggested we dust for prints in the kitchen and KayTar went upstairs to check for tracks in her bedroom. BubTar watched A Series of Unfortunate Events on DVD last night, after it was over he said that at the end it says that when unfortunate things happen there is always more good than bad and he said, "Like tonight, even though the burglars came, I felt a lot closer as a family after that talk." This morning, KayTar was walking around taking inventory of what they didn't take. Baby powder, check! Deodorant, check! Blankey, check! We've got good kids.
I'm glad we weren't here. I'm glad I stayed for lunch with the kids and didn't come home and surprise them. I'm glad this didn't happen on Monday when I was home studying and showering all by my lonesome during that time slot. I'm glad they didn't take any necessities or the kids' things or the presents (they actually set them aside nicely, so they didn't get trampled). I'm glad they didn't break anything except the window. I'm glad they didn't make more of a mess than they had to. I'm glad they left the Wii and the desktop computers (especially the one with my photos on it) and that Penny is fine. They just took our toys. Mean kids will do that, I guess. Last night we had to *gasp* watch TV in the living room before bed on a borrowed TV...and I had to *gasp* walk into the study to check my email. Such hardships! ;) How will we survive? We're just lucky to have those nice things in the first place.
I'm irritated about small things. They broke my deodorant. My iPod was my alarm and my cell phone was a poor and annoying replacement (though, as I complained about that this morning, Josh pointed out that my alarm had probably woken them at 5:15 this morning and I hope they had trouble finding it to turn it off!). I couldn't find my chapstick last night because they had knocked it down in their search for expensive things. Stupid things that remind me bad guys were in our house. I have a final tomorrow, but didn't feel safe enough to stay here today so I went to the library to study. I like to study in my pjs while listening to TV, not while being politely silent in the library. I was a little worried that they might come back for things today, knowing what was left and that the window is an easy access point, since they broke it and all. Today has been fine, though, and we're home now just like normal. You know, life goes on...but yeah, we're definitely getting a security system after this!