“Mom, Dad! Come outside! Quick! The helicopters! They’re flying over our house!”
No, way! I was thinking. Could this be it?
“Mom! Dad! What is it?! Why are the helicopters flying over our house?”
My husband’s first reaction was to turn on the news. Sure enough. This was the day that — like so many other people in our town — we hoped would one day come.
I think the entire town was breathing a sigh of relief as people stood outside with their necks craned to the sky, watching the loud news helicopters spin their massive blades. It’s hard not to feel just a little bit happy when you live just a few neighborhoods away from one of the most notorious men in America. Really. I don’t even want to write his name.
But when the camera crews are in the area, it’s usually about him. For the last year and a half, reporters have spent a lot of time filming life on his odd little cul de sac. I can’t imagine the tension of living on that circle.
The next door neighbor has a huge monument in her front yard with an enormous photo of his missing wife. Signs with large photos are posted in each front lawn, asking, “Where is Stacy?”
“What’s going on?! What’s it all about?” our kids continue to ask.
Oh, they just want to take some pictures of a house over there.
A guy lives over there who did something he shouldn’t have.
What, really, do you tell your kindergartner in a situation like this?
The bigger question in my mind has always been, “What does HE tell HIS kindergartner?”
What does his little boy think when he walks to school every morning past the photos of his mom, who he hasn’t seen for more than a year? What does he think when people cross to the opposite side of the street to avoid his dad?
The youngest of the two children from his marriage to Stacy is in kindergarten at the school down the street. Two older children living in the house are the kids of his third wife, who was found dead in her bathtub in 2004.
What DO you tell those kids when their mom disappears? What do you tell them when the helicopters are circling overhead? What do you tell them when the state police take Daddy away?
Our neighbor makes himself the subject of widespread contempt around town with the arrogant and rude statements he constantly makes to the media. But my mind always rushes back to that kindergartner. And I wonder who is there with him when the helicopters are flying over the house.