The last day of our 2011 began at 2:30 AM. That is when Brian and I woke to a loud KEEEEERASH!
In that moment between sweet slumber and waking terror - the moment of shattered dreams- I thought an M80 had gone off outside the window. Brian thought it had been someone crashing through the glass of our backdoor.
He guessed better.
It was Noah's bedroom window to be exact.
I have a confession-- falling asleep in Noah's bed after prayers, and mid 6 year-old pillow talk is something that I frequently do. I was sleeping there when the window broke- mere inches from the glass shards, Noah was on the side away from the window.
When I peered out the unshattered portion, there was no culprit to be seen. But on the lawn was a ball that had not been there when we went to bed. It didn't belong to my kids, either.
I should back up just a bit. Our neighborhood is very active at night. We have had a long history of late night ding dong ditching. So have most of our neighbors. It's just a fact of subdivision life. Even the hooligans who decided that they didn't like the conventional style of our light up reindeer and rearranged them one late night was annoying. (But it was sorta funny.)
|You giggled. It's ok, so did I|
But a middle of the night breaking of windows? That's criminal.
"Clean up this room, it looks like a crime scene in here!" I told Noah first thing in the morning.
" It IS a crime scene!" Luke countered.
"Yeah, but the police don't have to see what slobs we are!" I said as they headed to tidy and I called the sheriff's office.
The officer arrived quickly (He had a name that screamed for commentary, but I resisted. Really, the guy probably hears crap about his name all the time and someone with Vollenweider as a last name probably shouldn't be mocking other people's last names, anyway). He took pictures, recorded my story and asked me to call if I figured out who did it.
The town I live in is small. One of the downsides of small town life is that everyone knows your business. One of the upsides of small town life is that you can very easily find out any one else's business.
It didn't take long.
"Hey!" I said when my neighbor Christy came to her door, "do you recognize this ball?" I tossed it in the air like the jock I wish I was.
"Yeah, I was looking for that, it's my kid's."
"It came through Noah's window last night."
"Never saw it before."
This was not our first detective case. A year of so ago, Christy and I broke the case of " what happened to the full bag of security guard gear that was taken from an unlocked truck?" We found the physical evidence in her shrubs, and figured out the timeline based on the activity of her dog the night before. We resisted the urge to make commentary about the wisdom of leaving such items in an unlocked car...well, at least to the police officer who came to collect our findings.
For the Case of Shattered Dreams, we headed off to another neighbor's house channeling our inner Cagney and Lacy. Only, you know, no firearms...or badges, simply armed with our combined knowledge of human nature and our degrees from the School of TV Cop Shows.
Within 20 minutes, we had answers.
We know who did it.
We have witnesses.
How it all plays out is up to the kid's parents.
And because I like to inform of handy things you may not know:
This is not my first Ball v. Window episode. I have boys...and a husband. If you need to board up a broken window (because it breaks on a holiday and the glass company can't come out for 4 days without paying extra), reach for the Press 'n Seal wrap. This time I added a layer of Reynolds pan liner ( the one with aluminum foil on one side, parchment paper on the other) and sealed it all up with duct tape. Very cold resistant, and the glass sticks to the Press 'N Seal wrap and doesn't fall on the floor.
|Recipe for repair: Press n' seal, Pan Liner paper, 2nd Press 'n Seal layer, duct tape|
|Done. And classy.|
And that is how my Saturday began, and 2011 ended, with a police report, duct tape and Press 'N Seal Wrap.
***UPDATE*** The parents did the right thing. There are good people in this world who do things that aren't comfortable to try and teach their kids to right thing. I applaud them. Nicely done, Parents!