Aftershock

School AssemblyIf they want to share their news in assembly it has to be in Irish. Marque 2 stayed up until midnight grilling marque 1 for the words. We’ve been attempting to down play the burglary to them. Turn their trauma button onto mute.
‘Sure we got off lightly’ we say. ‘Only a few things taken and nobody got hurt. Just the window to be fixed and sure that’s nothing, nothing at all…’ They don’t buy it. They were there after all.

The adrenalin pumped so fiercely in me that night that three generous glasses of wine refused to enter my bloodstream. The beef in black bean sauce was tasteless. The open fire threw off little comfort. It’s his face that plays over and over. He eyeballed me as he sauntered down the drive and past our car before he broke into a run. I have his steely grey eyes and his craggy marked cheeks for keeps. The kids have too. So they won’t have their emotional response dials tuned. They will process this in their own individual ways.

He stood up in assembly.
Bhi me burgled De Sathairn. Tar eis dineir amach, nuair a thanamar abhaile chonaic me dha fir ag rith amach as ar d’teach. Bhris siad an fuinneog agus ghuid siad dha phones agus jewellery a Mhamai… Rith mo Dhadai in aice leis ach bhi knife aige agus…
The principal’s face was, it seems, horror struck. ‘Stop’ she said. ‘In English now. Is everyone ok?’
Yes he said, and trotted out our minimizing lines as unconvincingly as he’s heard them from us.On Sunday night I urgently needed to find something in the filing cabinet. Marque 1 & 2 were rehearsing the Irish in another room. I rummaged, removed files, felt around for the elusive disc. I opened the door onto the landing to two white as ghost faces.
‘We thought they were back’ they said.

On Monday the two of us were in Starbucks catching up. We seemed to have lost the weekend altogether. One of us received a good news phone call there and then on a recent health scare front. The relief was enormous. There had been a six week wait. You see, we said to one another. This puts that whole burglary thing in context. Insignificant. This is the real stuff. But we spent the evening drawing up a photofit.

Ellen Kelly

2 thoughts on “Aftershock

  1. I’m so sorry for your worry and fright. I used to work with your other half. It happened to us too. The girls are small, and knew little beyond the fact that Bumpy, our car, was stolen and the buggies and various other bits and pieces. I calmed myself and them by explaining that now daddy and I each check everything befoee we go to bed. Each window and door locked etc. When daddy is away for the night, I do the whole routine twice, to guarantee to myself that I’ve checked everything. Perhaps including the boys in your security plans and emergancy plans will help. My parents did the same withus and a fire escape plan. I always felt better and more in control, knowing that I knew what to do if something did go wrong. We can’t control the fact that we naturally react to such a shock with delayed anxiety. We can just try and make something positive flow from it. Time will make you less edgy. Them too. A plan will give them something to counteract the fear with. I hope time and lots of cuddles eases the reaction for you all.

    • Thanks very much for your comment and tips Charlotte. A few more blog posts about it and we should be sorted! We’ve had so much support since and it’s incredible how many people have been in the same boat. In some ways we’ve been expecting it to happen. I know I was busy hiding technology last week any time we left the house. We’ve had a lot of recommendations to get a dog. The brood here would be thrilled with that, they’ve been campaigning hard for a while now! Maybe something positive will indeed come from it.
      Best wishes, and we’ll do as you suggest about going over the security with the kids.

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