A couple of months ago my neighbor called to ask if the girls were at my house.
"No." I said, "They aren't here".
"Ah," she replied, "they must be a Leena's house. I'll call over there."
She called back a few minutes later with an edge of panic in her voice. The girls weren't at Leena's either. They had been at Leena's. Their shoes were still there. But no girls.
My heart sank. Leena's house was being remodeled and full of construction workers.
It couldn't be. No. These things don't happen here ...
All three moms barreled outside calling for the children. Silence. Chirping crickets. No girls! Where in the world could they be? I searched the empty lots near our house. My neighbor jumped in her car and began to drive around.
I was queasy and light headed. When, I wondered, should I call the police? In the event of an abduction the first few minutes are critical. Amber alerts need to go out. Could someone really abscond with three little girls?
Then my neighbor called. She found them. They were the next block over, barefoot and ding-dong ditching. A nine-year-old and two eight-year-olds ding dong ditching. Phew! First relief and then anger. What were they thinking?!!
Needless to say the girls were grounded and harsh words exchanged. Things along the lines of "I'm not allowed to do ANYTHING! You don't love me! You don't trust me! You hate me!"
Yes. Yes. I was being most unreasonable banning barefoot ding dong ditching in the middle of November. Clearly other parents are much more lenient and I'm just an old meanie.
Well then flash forward to today. Today, as a family, we rang the bell and ran. Really. You see today is May Day -- a day to leave anonymous flowers and welcome spring.
As it turns out there is a time and place for everything - ding dong ditching included.
Happy May Day!