Last night my children learned a very important lesson and a new word: Stealing. Mind you, my children are still very young and innocent and naive in many ways. At just 4 and 6, I had to explain to them that someone came up to our front porch and stole our two pumpkins that had been set there as decorations for fall. My children had picked those particular pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. The pumpkins were so big and heavy that even I could not carry them myself. They were each at least 30lbs, more than the weight of my 2 year old.
So here I was at the dinner table with tears streaming down my face and they were confused and sad as I was. Sure, I may be just slightly more sensitive, given that I am 30 weeks pregnant; but my sense of security and safety was compromised that night.
My first thought as my husband ran out the front door yelling that someone had taken our pumpkins was, “this must be a prank.. right?” and then as I watched the video clip that was recoded on the Ring app unfold, I was in shock and disbelief that someone could do such a petty yet significant thing… “Are my children safe? Am I safe?” We stood on the inside of the front door in disbelief and shock that our pumpkins had been taken just like that, while we were in the front living room doing what we do every night: chatting, watching tv, playing, cooking dinner.
We have the Ring Video Doorbell installed and the app alerts us of any motion. The motion has a 5-10 second delay because opening the app, waiting for it to load takes a few seconds. By the time my husband opened up the app, the thief had already ran off with our two pumpkins and her sidekick, in a getaway truck.
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Each morning the school bus picks up my first-grade daughter on the side street of our corner home by our garage. As we stand outside waiting for the bus, I ask her to peak around the corner to see if our pumpkins are still there, partially to distract her as she waits and it gives her something to do. It’s a fun responsibility that she takes very seriously and has done without me reminding her for a few weeks now since the start of fall. Last year we had some neighborhood squirrels who would take the smaller pumpkins and nibble them up so this year the kids decided to get extra large pumpkins so that the squirrels couldn’t carry them to their hiding places.
Now my daughter will have to face the reality that a grown adult woman came and stole them from our home. Sure, to some people, you might laugh or shrug your shoulders and say “So what, it’s just pumpkins, what’s the big deal? Why did you even call the police for that reason?”
The response I have for my children (and not these people who are inconsiderate, insensitive and unaffected by it) is that you cannot walk into any place, public or private: a store, a school, someone’s home, car or room and steal something that does not belong to you. If you want something, you will need to work hard to earn it or ask the person nicely if you can have it. Not only is it rude to steal something, it’s wrong on all levels. It’s not how I want to raise my children. it’s not acceptable in my family and it shouldn’t be acceptable anywhere at all.
For me personally, it’s a loss sense of security and the memories of our holiday season will be remembered as such. For my children, it’s a big lesson learned. For all of us, I hope it’s a reminder to teach our young ones not to steal because it is wrong and hurtful, in hopes that they don’t grow up to become thieves, crooks and criminals that live and infest our communities!