They walked to school by themselves – mind you it was only three streets away. They rode their bicycles to friends’ houses or the playground. And as long as they “checked-in” or called when they got to their destination, I didn’t worry too much.
Of course we also had an “additional” layer of security unbeknownst to me, my children, and our neighbors. And I suppose I have my brother Tony to thank for that. He worked for a “family business” and he was away a lot.
Tony was the exotic uncle that traveled to cool destinations like Las Vegas, Miami and LA. He dressed in flashy suits, wore Ray-bans and drove a big Cadillac. And whenever he was in town he spoiled my kids by showering them with time and attention. I guess today he would be called the “cool uncle.”
Our house became a hive of activity. We had visitors coming in and out, and the phone never stopped ringing. And just as quickly as Tony would show up, he’d disappear again on another trip.
During those times when Tony would visit, we would have a few special visitors as well. Little did I know at the time, that these visitors were special agents with the FBI and they would sit outside of our house, in a parked car, keeping an eye on our house and an eye out for my brother.
It took me a while to realize that we had our own security detail watching our little street. It really wasn’t until my children pointed it out to me that I actually figured it out. My oldest daughter noticed them right away. And every day on her way to and from school would wave to the smartly dressed men sitting in the car.
“Mom, they even wear ties,” she said. “Hmmm,” I thought. Maybe they work for the city.
That was until Guido pointed out that they were taking pictures of the street. These men seemed particularly interested in our elderly neighbor’s house. And so I revised my opinion. They must be realtors. And that was how I explained their presence to Guido.
So when I approached our neighbor, Nanny, and her asked if she was moving, she just laughed and said, “Land sakes no!”
And that’s when the penny dropped and I realized who these men really were.
There was no need to bother the kids with any further explanations, so I was happy to let them believe that these visitors to our street were j city workers or realtors.
That was until my middle daughter decided that anyone who spent so much time in a car certainly must be homeless. Being a good Christian child at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School she did the only thing she could do to fix the sad situation. She walked up to the car, tapped on the window, and invited them to live with us.