Being robbed. My backpack was stolen while I was in Boston conducting interviews for the book I’m writing.
It was taken sometime during the night out of the parked rental car, which I had mistakenly left unlocked in my father’s driveway in Newton. I locked it every other day I was in Boston but that night I was taking a very tired baby into the house and I asked my little sister to grab the bags. She grabbed the food bag but left the backpack, and didn’t think to lock the car.
When we got in the car the next morning to go to Bloomingdale’s so I could get make-up done for a TV shoot at 9:30 a.m., we both noticed the glove compartment was open. But I didn’t realize anything had been stolen until that afternoon.
I grew up in Newton and we always left the house unlocked.
Here’s what was in the bag:
My notebook, with all of my notes from a week of work.
My camera, with pictures of the research I was doing and of me with T. Berry Brazelton (whom I went to interview, who’s 92 years old now).
Theo Colborn’s excellent book, Our Stolen Future, about how environmental toxins are causing endocrine disruption.
A glass tupperware with a blue rubber top.
Twenty pages of confidential information for doctors about complications due to circumcision.
My father’s GPS, interestingly, was not stolen. It was on the floor, not in the glove compartment. I suspect the thief or thieves overlooked it. Apparently GPS’s are hot items and often stolen in Boston. I’m glad being robbed didn’t mean losing my dad’s navigation device.
The notes in the notebook and the photos on the camera aren’t replaceable.
One of the hospital midwives I interviewed during this research trip mentioned that negative events often lead to greater understanding.
Shakespeare says, “Sweet are the uses of adversity.” I come back to this idea all the time.
There’s a lesson in this robbery. There is something good in being robbed, though it may take me some more time to figure out what it is. Maybe that I should have a smaller computer I can travel with and make sure that I back up all of my digital files more often? Maybe that I shouldn’t rely so heavily on notes when I’m interviewing people? Maybe that I should double check that I take any and all valuables out of the car?
I don’t know yet. I hope to understand this all better soon.
Published: December 21, 2010
Updated: January 20, 2020