• The smoke detector went off while I made white pizza the other night.
  • Barking dog barks a lot, always has.
  • Shower curtains that are pulled closed have a new potential for mischief.
  • A friend at school was (maybe) also burglarized.

It is a tough time to be a seven year old.  The worlds of real and imagined dangers has cracked wide open and the adults don’t seem to see it the same way.

When the smoke alarm went off Dave went to silence it, I asked Jeff to open windows, I opened the door that has a screened door (coincidentally, the one that was opened during the burglary).  Jeff asked, “how do you know it is the smoke alarm?” and it is a fair question from him.  Because I do.  Because I’m in my 40s.  Because I know that there was too much olive oil and it started smoking a little.  Because when the oven is this hot it is more likely to be the smoke alarm than anythings else.  Because.

Barking dog barks a lot.  “I want to know what she is barking at.” So I send him to go look.  She is barking at the reflection in a window, or in long distance conversation with the dog down the block, or she’s tricking the boy dog to give up the delicious chew toy, or it is nothing.  Mainly it is nothing.  He is angry with her because he has assigned her the role of Alarm Dog and she isn’t magically doing what he wants.  A hundred times a week, the investigation of what she is barking at in the hopes that eventually she will be proven unworthy of the title Alarm Dog (now Alarmist Dog … that we could embroider on her collar).

The investigating officer thought maybe something good had happened, it got us talking about jewelry a little.  Jeff was trying to understand how I could be so sure *that* ring wasn’t *the* ring.  It isn’t.  It just isn’t.  I’m sure because I chose that ring, or I wore that ring every days for years, or because I just know it isn’t.

I’m grateful for all sorts of things these days, and a high school friend of mine mentioned on fb that her daughter still brings up the burglary that happened to them three years ago.  It reminds me that the real long game of this is something that I will only be privy to in the ways that Jeff chooses, that how he sorts it in his mind is his work alone.

To the burglar who changed my son’s reaction to a barking dog and a smoke detector  (no matter how transitory that reaction might be) … fuck you.

 

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