"We've been robbed!" I yelled as I stood in my garage early one afternoon, several years back.
My heart sank as I looked over the carnage. What a mess!
The thief or thieves were obviously in an enormous hurry - memories of our life were strewn all over the garage floor. As if a bomb had burst in a closet, kids' clothes and toys were haphazardly thrown against walls.
I sat down on the step and tried to think.
I must call my husband. He will know what to do.
I felt so violated. A supplanter had entered our garage, rifled through our belongings and stole our stuff! And it happened in the middle of the day, while the kids and I were home!
As I scanned our remaining possessions, I noticed some of the more expensive items escaped, curiously unscathed, in the attack. A television set sat in the corner, in plain sight, undisturbed. A radio, which would have been easy to swipe, was left on the shelf. My car, unlocked, remained in the garage with my purse on the passenger seat and the keys dangling in the ignition - right where I left them.
Although it was difficult to see, a closer inspection revealed that nothing of consequence appeared to be missing. Our garage door was up and our belongings littered the driveway, sidewalk, and nearby vacant field.
This made no sense.
And then I saw it.
Like an oracle, it came to me.
Earlier in the day my kids (ages 5, 7 and 8) asked to take the dog for a walk. At some point, not long after, they came inside the house for cookies.
I looked across our property and spotted our dog, a sweet, but easily excitable and somewhat skittish mutt, badly in need of training, roaming, rather happily I might add, in our neighbor's yard.
She was also pulling something that had been attached to her leash. -Oh dear saints in heaven, is that a croquet set?
Like a noxious weed, pieces of our now broken croquet set, and other nameless items, which were unfortunate enough to be in the path of destruction when our dog wigged out, dotted the landscape from our house to the neighbor's and beyond.
I'm still not sure what they were thinking -these children of mine- when they conferred and determined that, yes, this would be a good idea - let's tie our hyper dog up to our portable croquet set on wheels and when we come back she'll be waiting for us.
Brilliant plan children!
I worry about my kids. Will they ever be employable?