This morning I am up early – and I love waking up early. No, let's correct that: I love waking up early IF I am not woken up by one of the kids. Or I love waking up early IF I am the only one already awake. It doesn't happen often. (Mattias still likes to wake up before me.)
In honor of this highly unusual event, I give you a lighter(?) story from my summer.
I live in a neighborhood full of kids. However, most these kids are still under the age of 8. I can count 19 children under the age of 8 in houses adjacent of ours. But I can only think of 5 preteens/teens within a one block radius. So this summer, when my neighborhood started experiencing the first rounds of preteen/teen-late-night-practical-jokes, one of my neighbors confided to me that she thought it was rather funny to see everyone's lawn ornaments rearranged.
The humor, however, was short-lived. After about 3 weekends we were all feeling fully UNamused. Also, we were feeling...well...pretty well whipped by the practical jokes*. The scores was something like: Practical Jokers, 56. Neighbors, 0.
One of my neighbors has a garden which sits directly across the street from us. In it, he was attempting to grow an 100 pound pumpkin. The pumpkin had gotten quite big. It had also become a clear source of pride and impromptu learning, with young neighborhood families stopping by to see just how big it had gotten each day.
Well, you can guess what happened. One evening, a pair of preteens walked by that giant, growing pumpkin, and smashed it. Except, one of my neighbors, Eagle Eyes, who lives across the street from the giant pumpkin, happened to see the whole thing. And when Pumpkin Grower came walking up just seconds later, Eagle Eyes told Pumpkin Grower,
"There they are! The culprits! They're walking right over there!"
So the Pumpkin Grower called 911 and knowing how slowly the police sometimes respond to 911 calls, Pumpkin Grower followed the culprits. He kept his distance, but he didn't want to lose the culprits either.
Meanwhile, the culprits noticed they were being followed and decided to call 911 themselves, to report that they were being followed! In a moment of clarity, the 911 operators figured out they were dealing with the same incident on both sides. The culprits were told to sit down at a specific intersection and wait for the police to arrive.
Which is just what happened.
So now the score is something like, Practical Jokers, 60. Neighbors, 1.
But that single victory does seem to have slowed the number of practical jokes.
* Unfortunately, too many of the practical jokes could also be called vandalism, but for the sake of this post and innocent-until-proven-guilty, I'll err on the generous side.