So much has happened in the last month, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
I stopped a thief this week, but I’ll save that crazy story until the end.
First, I am so grateful for all the support from friends, family, and even total strangers on kickstarter and social media. THANK YOU! I launched my kickstarter campaign for The Recollection of Trees, and it was fully funded!
Robin Williams’ passing deeply affected me, and I had a real difficulty writing the first day. I wept on and off as if someone in my own family had died. Strange how someone most of us have never met can have such a profound impact on our hearts. The next day, I wrote through the sadness and tried to use my grief for good in my book.
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”Robert Frost
And now for the mama bear moment—I chased down a thief!
A couple of days ago I was working in my writing cave when my youngest son barreled down from upstairs yelling, “Those kids just stole my bike!”
I ran out to the living room in time to see my husband dash out the front door after them. My son was wide-eyed and panting in fear. I snatched the car keys and dove into the car without shoes or my purse. My son managed to jump in beside me and we took off after the thieves. Through some hedges, we caught a glimpse of them getting away from my husband—he was on foot and most of them were on bikes—so I took a shortcut through the neighborhood.
When I reached the other side, my son’s bike helmet was laying in the road at the corner of a busy intersection but the boys were gone. I leapt out of the car and scooped it up before anyone ran it over or it caused an accident.
“There they are!” My son shrieked, pointing down the street. Miraculously, there was no oncoming traffic and I was able to immediately pull onto the road. I caught up to them and cut them off in front of a Chinese take-out. I flew out of the car and shouted at them. “Give me my kid’s bike back right now!”
At first the teen riding the bike tried to deny any wrong doing. “I didn’t take anything,” he stammered.
“Oh yes you did! Don’t you lie to me!” I yelled. “You’re lucky I caught you before the cops did!”
He was taller, bigger, and surrounded by five of his friends, but he dismounted my son’s bike and handed it over. Judging by the confused, terrified looks on their faces—and the bewildered elderly gentleman with a bag of egg rolls gawking from behind his car—they will think twice before doing that again! He and his buddies hightailed it down the sidewalk and we drove away with the recovered bike in my backseat. (One acquaintance tried to bait me through social media, assuming the kids were non-white. Nope, they were all white. With the racially charged news this week from Ferguson, I thought it relevant to share that stupidity and crime come in every color.)
As the adrenaline wore off, I realized how reckless I was. Anything could have happened.
But as I said to friends later, that’s the blessing and the curse of a tough childhood: before I knew what I was doing, I found myself standing shoe-less in public, screaming at some fool in a parking lot. Apparently the “mom instinct” overrides years of self-help books and therapy. Ha ha ha!
My son described it best with laughter and gratitude, “Good thing I screamed like a little girl and you screamed like a middle-aged man!”
There are lessons in this, yes. I could have let it go because the bike was only a “thing”. But I may have shown those boys what a real mom does when she cares about her son—something I doubt they’ve experienced if they’re out stealing from people in broad daylight—and I definitely showed my own boys how to stand up for themselves without using violence. I’m sure any parent can relate: DON’T MESS WITH THE MAMA BEAR!