It is no small coincidence that both my wife and I awoke that same morning from dreams of Disneyland. It has been a tough month for us. The loss of her aunt. The burglary of our house. At the end of any given August, it's hard enough for our family to transition back into school mode. This year, events have had us looking over our shoulder, wondering what the next catastrophe might be.
Certainly, we have counted our blessings in each case: That we were able to have the time we did with our aunt before she died. That the only thing that we lost in the burglary was stuff that could be replaced. Still, we notice that Rita-shaped hole in our lives. My son's blanket, the one that was used to cover up the thieves' ill-gotten gains on the way out of our house, is gone. It is no longer a source of comfort for him, because that is what we are missing. That is why my wife and I went to the happiest place on earth.
This is the place where I don't fret about the motion sensor lights. I don't worry about the quality time we have left. I want to know what the wait time is on Space Mountain. Ironically even now I feel the twinge, as I sit here writing this, of doubt about leaving my house again for any stretch of time. What will be left when I come back?
This same morning, as I was going out the front gate to make my ride to work, a tow truck was pulling up just in front of a California Highway Patrol car. They were there to haul away the abandoned vehicle that I had reported online three days earlier. The one that set off echoes of the car we had stolen just a year ago. The one that sat in front of our house for three days with the windows rolled down and the stereo indelicately removed. This little piece of urban blight was being taken away. I thought about the way you never see wads of discarded gum on Main Street in Walt's place. Welcome to the Land of Personal Responsibility.