Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Scary Thought

Tonight one of my worst fears as a mother came to fruition. A stranger tried to convince my five year old daughter to get into his car with him. This happened this past Wednesday, but my daughter only told me and her dad about it tonight. Just out of the blue. She and I were coming home from my mother's and we saw a police car pulling out of our neighborhood. Then she says 'Policemen are our friends, right?'. I assured her that yes, she was right. Then she says, 'And they protect me, right?'. Another assurance. Yes - they do. Then, out of the blue, she says that a man approached her and asked her to go for a ride with him in his car. My heart almost stopped beating as I asked her what she did.

She made me so proud - she did just like her daddy and I taught her. She said no and came home. However, she said nothing to either one of us the night it happened. Though we assured her we were so proud of her for what she did, we made sure to make it clear that she is to tell us right away if it ever happens again.

We called the police and spent nearly an hour listening to our five year old describe the man and his car and what he said. The officer went around our neighborhood to see if anyone else saw this man. I don't know what happened with that. I don't know if anyone else has reported the same thing - I do know that a family in our neighborhood filed a complaint about a flasher who did a little more than just flash. I shudder to think if it is the same guy and what could have happened.... Not something I want to think about because it is my darkest, most absolutely bloodchilling fear - what could have happened to my beautiful, precious, irreplaceable baby girl. My eyes fill with tears just thinking about it... Thank You God for watching over her.

I hugged her tighter than usual tonight at bedtime and I hope other mothers and fathers are doing the same. There are never enough hugs and kisses - there should never be enough. It could have been so much worse, a horror beyond any I ever thought possible.

I went in to check on her a little while ago and it hit me... her bed could have been empty tonight and I could have spent the last four days frantically worried about my child - terrified to hear the worst news possible and yet desperate to know anything - the fear is icy cold and the tears that now sting my eyes are red hot. My angel could have become a statistic, an example that other mothers would hold up to their own when a son or daughter neglects to tell mom or dad where they are going.

Worrying used to be so much simpler. I had no idea what worrying was until I became a mother and I beg anyone who might see this - if you have children, hug them and kiss them and remind them how much they mean to you. There is no such thing as too much, especially when you realize how close you come to what might happen.

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