When the Sheriff Comes Knocking
- Wednesday, January 09, 2002
It was nearing checkout time for Steve and me, when I decided to phone the kids to see how they were doing. A friend had graciously offered to take the kids to her house for a couple of days while we were out of town. As I dialed the phone number, I told Steve I was experiencing the best vacation I had ever had. I could smell the ocean spray as I listened to the waves crash onto the shore.
Within a couple of rings my friend answered the phone. After my initial hello, she informed me that the sheriff had been called to our home. Apparently there was an anonymous phone call from someone telling them our children were left home alone without anyone to care for them.
My heart began beating wildly as visions of losing my children flashed before me. I wanted to know who would do such a thing to our family. I wanted to know all the details. But most of all, I wanted to get home and hold on to my children.
Apparently when the sheriff arrived at our house, the children had already been picked up for their visit to our friends house. Another friend who was scheduled to take the children some milk and other essential items found the note from the sheriff on the door of our house. He phoned the sheriff, assuring him that the children were being well cared for, and that they were old enough and mature enough to care for themselves in our absence, and that we had arranged for many people to check in on them while we were away.
When we originally planned our trip to celebrate Steves parents 50th anniversary, I was comfortable with the thought of leaving the children in the care of the older siblings. But as the time grew closer for us to leave, I had a bad feeling about leaving them. I expressed my concerns to Steve, who assured me they would be fine and that we had covered all of our bases.
But what if there is a fire? I asked him. He reminded me that we had fire drills; the kids knew what they were to do. And they werent to burn any candles, and we didnt even have a live Christmas tree this year. He seemed to have an answer for each of my fears. But still I couldnt shake my fear. I was torn as I knew that I needed to do as Steve wished.
The night before we left, I amended our will. As I sat on board our first flight, I was nervous about leaving them. It was a foreign feeling for me to be afraid of the unknown.
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