We had quite the excitement this afternoon around the homeplace. So much excitement.
It would seem that a tractor-thieving fugitive was holed up in the woods somewhere behind our house. Or in that general vicinity.
I can’t make this stuff up, y’all.
He and his buddy, who was driving the truck and trailer with the tractor on it, were stopped. He ran. His buddy didn’t. His buddy was arrested. He hightailed it into the woods.
It all started with the lawn mower outside that was rather loud. Miss Sophie announced it even louder. It was a while before I discovered two things–first, that the alleged lawn mower was actually a search helicopter, and second, that Miss Sophie is smarter than I am. But then again, she does bark at lawn mowers too so maybe not.
I learned a few other things today in the midst of the massive search that had our neighborhood swarming with policemen and Georgia State Patrol vehicles. In all of this, we did not know at the time it was a tractor thief they were looking for. We just knew they were looking for “someone.”
The first thing I learned is that one cannot homeschool when there is a massive large scale manhunt going on. It’s just too exciting, apparently, as my littles went from window to window watching for the bad guy, giving their word that they heard someone holler, “Run, he’s got a gun!” and that they saw someone behind our house in the woods. Which they did. But he was a good guy. As for the hollering, I have no idea. I do tend to encourage active imaginations around here. So there’s that.
I also had it impressed upon me once again that I have the best neighborfriends ever. The three of us who were still home over this way were texting and calling back and forth and promising to walk out at the same time when we had to leave our homes. It was actually my sweet neighborfriend who alerted me to what was going on. When I didn’t answer my phone (long story), she came over very concerned that we’d been “gotten.”
It’s the absolute best when folks love you enough to worry if you might’ve been gotten. I mean, really and truly, it is.
I also discovered today that I can act braver than I feel–at least when my children are around. And I learned that my OCD about locked doors and such is only heightened in potential crisis situations. I will not share how many times I checked the doors, but suffice to say, it was somewhere between two and aplenty.
Perhaps the most perplexing thing I learned is that raising my youngest is going to be a great challenge, and I’m getting old, y’all. I’m tired. And that boy…..
This evening on our way home from our day to dailies, breathing much easier because the one who took the tractor and “run oft” had been taken into custody, my little guy asked me a question. I had told them in no uncertain terms that they were NOT TO ANSWER THE DOOR OR EVEN GO NEAR IT IF THEY HEARD SOMEONE KNOCKING.
“Mama, what would you have done if that little guy had come to the door and knocked and asked for help?” Cooter asked. (I have no idea why he was “little” or why Cooter was asking in such a pitiful tone of voice.)
“What do you mean, asked for help?”
“Well, you said he was running in the woods, looking for a place to hide. What if he came to our door, asking for help, looking for a place to hide?”
I looked and him, and I’m sure I looked as tired as I feel. “You mean, let him in, to stay here and hide from the law?”
He squirmed. “Well, I mean, no, well, yes, I mean if he needs help. And he would really be needing it, scared and looking for a safe place and all.”
Maybe we’ve had too many conversations about real life stuff around here, but that is so not what I meant when we talked about folks needing help and shelter. And I’m pretty sure Cooter knew that. Sometimes he tries to get my goat just to entertain himself.
So that’s when my little guy found himself in the middle of a conversation about right and wrong and aid and abetting and being an accessory to a crime.
I think he might get it now.
If only I did. I have taught them we are called to help folks in need, but then…..oh me. There is no such thing as clear cut black and white anymore, y’all. Grey. It’s all grey to me.
Tonight I’m thankful for good neighbors and folks who offer to walk the dog with you so you will be safe. I’m thankful for folks who care if I’ve been gotten, and I’m thankful that my littles were not frightened by what happened today. I know all stealing and wrongdoing and criminal activity is wrong, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thankful it was a tractor thief they were searching for today and not something else. Most of all, I’m thankful for my children who keep me on my toes and help me think through the hard questions.
Here’s hoping for a less exciting day tomorrow.
Love to all.