August 24: The Day the SWAT Team Hid in Our Lilac Bushes

So.... Ya. 

This was our evening. How was yours?

I noticed the police car when we drove home from school. It was parked a few houses down. As Clayton chased the dog home, he caught wind of the fact that there had been a robbery. I just shrugged and said okay. That's pretty normal on our street lately, and this was just one of a half dozen or so this year; the previous one happened right next door on the Forth of July. Such is life in the city.

God protects us, though, as the houses all around us have been robbed at least once, but ours has never been touched.

When one police car turned into two and I saw them running around the neighbors yard, however, I started to suspect more then a routine robbery investigation. Then I looked out the back and heard them yell that the house was surrounded, and I thought, well, they're certainly not chasing a dog. 

The kids had been outside riding bikes just moments before and saw the cars pull up next door. Eva was still out on the front porch, her bike sitting at the end of the driveway where she left it. I had her come inside and locked all the doors. 

The cops that showed up next were carrying guns that said they weren't messing around, and the kids and I went down the basement for a while. Ben stayed upstairs to find out what was going on. 

Funny enough, I wasn't scared at all. I told Ben to take some pictures outside, and he glared at me. I make photo collages, so priorities, you know. And besides, how many times in a lifetime are there police with assault rifles in your front yard?

Hopefully just once, and hopefully never aimed at us.

The lieutenant told us that we would need to leave the premises, since we were so close, the suspect being right next door. I felt bad for the kids, because although they were trying to cope in their own way, some of them were scared. Men with big guns, masks, and shields were milling about, setting up a perimeter, and standing in our front yard.

We left after dinner and went to get ice cream, because what else do you do when the SWAT team is hiding in your lilac bushes? 

On the way out the door, I


asked if they would pose for a picture with the kids--selfie with heavily armed men, anyone??--but then I thought,


It's not every day that SWAT is in your driveway, though, so it was probably a missed opportunity.

An officer bent over and pulled the baby's bike out of the driveway as we were pulling out, and that was such a visual for me, seeing the group of them standing there by the toddler's overturned bike.

We drove slowly down the street, past the long line of police cars, past all the neighbors sitting on their front porch. It looked like there was a summer movie event or something with the amount of people watching.

The officer at the end of the street moved the police tape to allow us out, and we could see SWAT set up at the corner drug store, ready to roll out the tank. It would've been cool to have a front row seat to all the action, unless it went south, of course. So we went on our way.

We live a crazy life in this city, but I wouldn't trade it. 

A few hours later they got the guy, and life returned to normal.