What would I do?
The other day we encountered a situation that has me really thinking, and I would really like to share it with anyone out there that I can. It has me thinking about what I would do if something ever were to happen to either of my kids. And by something, I mean them being taken. Let me tell you first about what took place. When I pick my little girl up from school, she ALWAYS asks to go to this park right down the street from the school. Every single day she asks. Most days, I say yes. How can I say no to my little girl? I really can't. She's only four, about to be five, but I'm already wrapped right around her pretty little finger. I don't mind either.
Anyways, back to my point. We walked into the park and I could see a guy at the picnic tables with his shirt off and a bunny on the table. Okay, I know what you're probably saying, and yes it is pretty presumptuous to think that just because a guy has a bunny that he's a dirtball. Well, that's not the problem in my eyes. Who goes to a kids park in the middle of freaking October and takes his shirt off in 50 degree weather? And has a bunny? Did I mention that he just looked like a dirtball? In fact that is what we are going to call him from here on out, Dirtball. So, I had took the kids a little out of the way to get to the castle part that they really like with all the slides and swings and good stuff. We played for a while before I decided to take them for a walk so I could get some exercise as well. As we were walking from the park to start our walk, Dirtball walked into our path. I could see that he was a younger, skinnier guy, but still a dirtball all the same. And one that I could whup if I had to as well. By this time he must have realized that being shirtless at this time of year is not wise because he now had some dirty concert t-shirt on, and was carrying his bunny while trying to adjust his camera phone. He walked right up and asked my daughter if she wanted to pet his bunny. Before I could tell her not to, she stepped up and pet that little sucker. My son on the other hand, was hiding behind me. I watched REALLY closely to make sure Dirtball didn't snap any pics of my kids. Well, that was the end of the encounter, but I thought that it could make a really good teaching point.
What age is right to talk about this?
As we continued on our walk I took the time to tell my daughter that it was not okay to talk to strangers if Mommy or I wasn't around. And, that it was really not okay to pet someones pet just because they ask you to. I found that it was kind of hard to get my point across to a four year old without totally freaking her out. Maybe that's what I want to do though. But, do I want her to live her life completely freaked out all of the time? No, not really.
I find it really sad that we live in a time that we have to be wary of everyone we meet. The fact is Dirtball could be a really cool dude who just happened to be warm and have a bunny, but my point remains. I have always been kind of wary of people, and now that I have kids, well let's just say if I don't know you, don't talk to my kids unless I give the okay. I know that's pretty jaded, but that's the time we live in. When I was growing up, it was really different. If you had a problem and your parents weren't there, you could ask a stranger for help and not have to worry about ending up on a milk carton. I lived in a really small town though where we all knew each other, so stranger is a relative term. I just worry that I can get my point across to my daughter now before something bad happens. She seems to be very trusting, so I worry that she is going to get taken. Speaking of Taken, I have included a clip of that movie here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvUxdQ4q-Lg
I would love to be like Liam Neeson's character in that movie and have "a particular set of skills." If I had those skills, I could protect my kids in ways that I can't now. I would feel safer about them going out into the world without me. I guess if it's possible for me not to worry about them that is.
What are your thoughts on this? Am I too jaded and wary, or am I justified in worrying all the time? I really look forward to some feedback on this because sometimes I think that I'm not protective enough.
Thanks and have a great night.