I looked forward to today for weeks. Felix didn’t have school, but no longer has a daycare spot. Miles had school. Oren had daycare. It was going to be a Mommy-Feefer adventure day, just the two of us, and we were going to see the Minions movie and eat popcorn for lunch.
I felt it would be just the thing we needed, as my poor middle child is still struggling with this invasive baby in addition to fearing the new house.
So, as we walked out to get in the van and head to our show, the teenager next door shouted to me from the porch, “I’m so sorry.”
As it turns out, this teen is banging a girl. This girl’s ex-boyfriend is enraged at the situation and decided he would demonstrate his feelings by vandalizing my neighbors’ house. He threw some eggs, evidently, threatened the neighbors with a knife and, along the way, slashed our van tires. Because he thought it was the neighbors’ van.
I felt a great many feelings today, but top among them was utter sadness that this golden day with Felix would now be spent in the crucible of police reports and insurance reports. It was a crushing blow to me because I feel like my life is a precarious row of dominos and this event really sent the whole line crumbling.
I called the police, made a report, and waited for roadside assistance to come help me put the donut on the van so I could get the tire replaced in time to gather the other children.
Bless his soul, Felix said we didn’t have to go see Minions. We could find ants and drown them! Or feed leaves to a caterpillar. Or play Zingo! So we did all those things, and then I put him down for nap and tried to quell my panic that, 3 hours later, there was still no donut on the car and I was going to miss the last available appointment to get the tire replaced before Gathering Hour.
I felt all the familiar panic feelings, went through all the phases of problem solving. Could I call Uber and put my car seats in another vehicle? Could I somehow ride my bike? Could I call upon people to at least stay home with some of the kids while I…what?
A new friend stopped at Target and brought us some popcorn as I tried to salvage some more adventure from the day.
Other neighbors implied that I’ve broken a social taboo in involving the police. I actually witnessed an old van drive slowly past, 2 men inside shouting, “That’s just what he needs! To be thrown in jail. God damn, he did slash those fucking tires.”
The parents of the banging-teen came out to wrangle another neighbor to put the donut on my van. They offered me cash for the tire, told me not to call the police. Assured me this punk wouldn’t be back.
The damage is done. I feel unsafe at our house right now, I feel uncomfortable accepting their money for the tire, and I just want to crawl into a hole and hide.
For now, all is well with the van and all boys were retrieved. I’m still really angry that I didn’t get to take my boy to the movies.