Cue the dinner conversation, which now revolves around what's happened, starting with discussions about what the security passwords are for our home and for the other property.
I check with Thandi that she knows that if there's a problem and she's being threatened, that she must give a fake password if the security company responds to an alarm. That way, the bad guys will think that she's told the security company that she's fine, but she's really told them to come quickly.
"I'll also give a fake password, Mom, " says Daniel. "Which one shall I use?"
My shattered nerves. Literally. Such frogs in warming water we are.
Touch wood quickly, we have not been threatened on our property. We had a break-in five years ago, but no-body was home, so the bastards took what they wanted, and nobody was harmed. But our neighbor was held up in June last year, and then of course there was the helicopter manhunt for the hijackers that hid in a roof up the road from us late last year. And the small fact that the office property was pretty much stripped of anything metal in January. So, as with pretty much anyone who lives in Joburg, we are aware of security. All the time.
There's a part of me that thinks we should have a security drill, a how-to list of what to do if bad guys get into the house when we're home. Where to run, where to hide, what to do, what passwords to give or not give.
And then I think. What. The. Fuck. (sorry if your'e reading this, Mom). Really? Why should I have to? Why should I have to drill my children on what to do if the bad guys come? Why should my children have to worry about the bad guys being so close? They're not stupid - they notice when I drive around the block if there's someone near our driveway when I get home - and they ask why I'm taking the long way home. What can I do but tell them? Why should they have to live behind what are effectively jail bars, behind electric fences, in fear of the bad guys.Why should they have to worry about security passwords?
Because there are a lot of bad guys out there. And the pessimist (realist) in me has this nagging voice that it's just a matter of time until we become a statistic again - and that next time we might not be so lucky as to just have our stuff stolen. (And how sad a statement is that)
And it's in those moments that the "but the climate is fantastic" arguments just don't hold so much water any more. Neither do the "I couldn't do without staff" arguments. Because I don't know how I would live myself if my choice of weather or my refusal to wash floors meant that the lives of my family were endangered by the bad guys.