Surprise! I'm a single parent

June 24, 2013, 3:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sometime between the morning of the 18th and the evening of the 19th of June a thief broke into my bathroom window. It was raining and he (or she) made a muddy footprint on the vanity. The tread revealed a preference for Converse sneakers. Later the policeman who came to take prints told me he also wore gloves.

Possibly he went to my youngest daughter’s room first where he helped himself to the small change in her purple piggy bank and then gathered up her lap top and iPod. With greater fortitude than the rest of us he lingered in my eldest daughter’s messy room long enough to collect another iPod. By this time there was a lot to carry so he must have been happy when he found the backpack in my wardrobe.

I did not realise how many drawers I have in my house until I came home and found them all emptied, the contents heaped in piles as our belongings were assessed. In one corner I retrieved the heart shaped shard of gravel my daughter found when she was tiny and offered me as a precious stone.

My grandmothers pocket dictionary landed on a pile of underwear. The nondescript brown book would not have seemed much to burglars I guess but inside the cover is my grandmother’s maiden name and the date 1923. Then comes my mother’s name and in the 70s I added my own. It has been in our family 90 years now.

The thieves did recognise my lap top as precious. We see the value differently though. To me the hardware wasn’t the value. It was the words and numbers contained inside. A lover of data, there was a file in there called ‘my life in debt’. It tracked my debt and repayment from the purchase of my first house in 1994 for seventy eight thousand dollars and the resulting mortgage of forty eight thousand dollars to the jagged height of a graphed debt mountain of just under one million dollars when we were juggling a few houses. My plan was to pay off my mortgage and have the graph framed. Perhaps I would have a grand daughter who would love that I’d tracked that. I love data as much as I love fiction and the lyrical quality of words.

Inside my lap top were poems and stories and data. Four novels. Three backed up. I let myself cry in the shower about the one that got away. No matter, there is no deadline. I can write it all again. It will be different and that is ok. It wasn’t perfect at all.

So what have I learnt? Well, backing up data is a good thing to do (I did have photos on a USB yay me!) and also that I still have the most precious things – my kids. The heart shaped piece of gravel really was the most special stone in my jewellery box and I’m really glad I still have it.

There is a fear of the robbers coming back. Maybe they will figure I have had time to get a new lap top but just as equally they might be off to pastures new. I had a dream I was chasing one of them and he kept gaining on me and laughing. I do possibly have one last laugh on him though: I had let some mince go off in the fridge but didn’t want to put it in the bin the day after rubbish day so I stuck it in the freezer and was aiming to put it out with the rubbish this week. They stole the meat in the freezer. I also had a crayfish in there we’d accidentally defrosted and I’d refrozen thinking I’d plant a tree on it some day. Also gone. I really hope they enjoy that meal…

2 Comments so far
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  1.    BeeNZ 07.07.13 @ 2:23 am      

    Ah, so sorry to hear that – it feels so invasive when you’re burgled! Thanks for the read – just worked my way through you blog up to this date :)

  2.    Charles 01.24.14 @ 6:31 pm      

    You are a brave woman.

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