If you have been following this blog, you know that our family was robbed during father’s day weekend. You can read about it on my June 15, 2008 posting, “How do you make your kids feel safe after you’ve been robbed?” It was to say the least a tumultuous time. As I wrote back then, the hardest aspect of it was talking to my sons about it. It was the moment where the safe world we had created for them was tested.
Today, I received a call from the detective handling the case that the robber has been caught, and will likely go to jail. He is a 48 year old man with a history of burglaries. It appears he robs to support his drug habbit. He had hit numerous apartments and homes in the community. They followed him and he was caught in the act of attempting to rob.
It doesn’t change the fact that my sons are more aware that robbers are not just make believe. It doesn’t bring back my things or the money shelled out to repair things. It doesn’t change the anger, helplessness, and frustration I felt. It doesn’t change the fact that we painted and drew on the 2×4’s on the door to make it seem less sterile and cold. It doesn’t change the excitement of winning the fathers day basketball tournament. And it simply doesn’t change the fact that we let go and moved on with our life as a family. For all it doesn’t do, one thing it does do for me is give me some actual closure.
It quiets that little part of me that wonders or thinks about it from time to time. It puts that nagging piece of the story to rest. And for that, I’m grateful.
Today, we shook up some routines and went to a community outdoor festival. We let the van sit in the drive way and took the bus, which the boys were excited about. On our way there, I was feeling lukewarm about going. I’ve been to so many outdoor festivals that are very crowded, loud, and generally a pain. Let’s put it this way, I spend most of the time trying to chat and then turning my head saying, “where’s Ry or J?” But today was different.
We went to the Raven festival. It was only $5.00. The crowd was modest. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. They had inflatable rides and a climbing wall that the boys could go on over and over. The face painters took their time to turn my sons into cute little dogs.There was a nice selection of music to listen to. There were places to sit in the shade. They even had pony rides, albeit, very short rides-but it was a nice touch. And most importantly, they had clean, usable porta-potty’s. I’d never actually used a clean one before.
At one point, my wife and I sat under a tent and let the boys roam around the event. While we live in a major metropolitan city, it felt like we were in a small town. In fact, after getting a snack, I called my wife over because the boys were on stage singing with some other kids. It was my first time seeing J on stage. I think he may return there again.
When enough was enough, we were on our way. J was on my back. My wife had the backpack which contained the beach ball, soccer ball, and key chain from State Farm; the self made buttons from Whole Foods; lollipops from the Catholic school; tattoos from the public school; and a red and yellow balloon from a small bank hung from the back of the pack. And then we ended the afternoon as the boys wanted, we took the train. For more information, http://www.RavenChicago.com