Mercy has started potty training recently which translates to frequent visits to the bathroom for Mercy, Aaron and me. Aaron sits in his swing next to the potty, Mercy sits perched on her “throne”, and I sit in front of both of them, squeezed into a small piece of floor between the sink and the toilet.

Sometimes Mercy needs to sit for a little while before she does her business, so we read books, sing, or I do silly things to amuse her. This morning we were sitting there when I heard a bunch of noise outside our window. A police helicopter had been circling our house for five minutes or so, and it was one of those times you know whoever they are looking for is very close because the whole house is shaking and it feels like the helicopter is coming in through your window. So I peered out the window and immediately saw four young men running frantically into a little shed in my neighbor’s backyard. Two of the guys I recognized as young men who have been involved in a fair amount of trouble we have had on our street recently; the other two I did not know. I am pretty sure they were laughing as they scrambled into their hiding place.

I called the police to tell them what I saw and the operator told me she had no information on a helicopter at my address. I wasn’t going to argue with her, so I left my name and phone number so that I could be contacted if need be.

I have been edgy all morning. We have gone back twice to sit on the potty and both times I have held my breath and held back tears as we sit beneath that window. Just a few weeks ago our good friends had bullets pierce a piece of furniture in their daughter’s room of their second floor house. Since then I have struggled with being sincerely afraid for my kids’ safety.

I am delighted that Mercy is potty training. I am sad that she is doing it in front of a window that opens out to so much danger and fear.

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