The day started out like any other. I was working in the garage, the kids were playing in the yard, and my wife was in the house working on her business. It was summer and everything seemed alright. For a time. That feeling ended when we called the kids in for lunch and only four of the five showed up. Naturally, the boys were all there because food was present, but our youngest and odd one out (she’s a girl) was not. She was four and knew no fear, most likely because she had all older brothers who also knew no fear and showed her likewise.
The search for our missing daughter began. After about ten minutes, we began to get a little worried. We lived in a tucked away cul-de-sac and had only been in the area for about seven months. We hadn’t met all the neighbors and wondered just where she could have gone. We sent our boys out to search the neighborhood, but they came back with no news of their sister. After a few more minutes, we were considering calling the police, when, lo and behold, our little angel came skipping down the sidewalk. While we were very relieved to see her, we were more surprised by what she was wearing and what she had in her hands.
She came up to us and showed off her newly acquired treasures. She had a new box of sidewalk chalk in one hand, a big piece of cake in the other hand, and was sporting a silver-looking necklace with the letter of her first name hanging on it. As she told us about these things, my wife and I just stared and wondered just what the heck had happened. When we asked her where she’d been, she said she had gone to a birthday party.
“Birthday party?” I said. “Whose birthday was it?”
“I don’t know,” my daughter replied. “It some girl’s.”
“Where’s their house?” my wife asked.
“Over there,” our daughter pointed to a house kitty corner to ours. A house, I noted, that was surrounded by a very tall fence. “They are nice people and have a little girl who’s my age. It was her older sister’s birthday.”
“How did you get over there?” I asked.
“I found a hole in the fence and pushed my way through,” she proudly replied. “They said I could come back whenever I want to play.”
“So,” I said after a moment, “You wandered off, trespassed, crashed a party, was given some fun prizes and cake, and finally got invited to come back?”
She didn’t understand even half of what I’d just said, so my daughter just smiled a big…