Today was like any other day. BooBoo Bear, Goofy Girl, and I went to the park with some good friends. It was a beautiful day (minus the cloud cover that made it chilly) and it was a gorgeous park. Surrounded by football fields, soccer field, walking spaces, and playground equipment it seemed ideal. Two Tractors (and I mean tractors, not ride on lawn mowers) mowed the grass next to us.BooBoo was fascinated by the tractors and had a blast kicking around the ball our good friend (he calls her Momber, so I'll do the same) had brought. He even got brave enough to chase Momber's oldest son (J1) down to the soccer field and play with him and a couple of other older boys (sons of another good friend, we'll call her Carol).
Early in the playdate, as I was pushing BooBoo on the swings, my purse on the bench, I had a sudden thought, "I'm being really trusting leaving that there, maybe I should go stand by it." I was a bit surprised by that thought. There was no one there besides parents and kids, surely it was fine. The thought came again "I should stand by my purse." So, I did. I continued talking to my friends, but changed standing positions so that I was near the bench, but could still watch BooBoo (Goofy Girl was in her carrier).
Everything seemed normal: the kids played, we ate lunch, and people came and went. After an hour or so, Carol started gathering her things together. As she looked towards her car, she suddenly stopped. "I don't remember leaving my front window open..." she said and immediately started sprinting towards the parking lot. Sure enough, someone had busted her window in and stolen her purse. We then discovered that it had happened to a second car. Somehow, in all the bustle of park day and the tractors mowing, we'd completely missed two majors crimes.
That's when the wheels started turning. I am so grateful for whatever caused that inspired thought to stand by my purse. It's not like I had much in there- we're not exactly swimming in cash, I can't drive so I only have a State ID (that's a whole other post), and I doubt most thieves really want diapers; but it was pieces of me. After Carol calmed down and got off the phone with all of her credit card companies and banks, she expressed the same thing:cards can be replaced, licenses can be renewed but, essential oils, favorite chapstick, and beloved nursing covers are a part of who we are. When they're taken, it violates our feeling of private security. At this point my thoughts really started going...
My son, 2 1/2, was playing almost a soccer field's length away from us, across rocks and down a hill. What if it hadn't been a thief? What if that had been a kidnapper? I always feel so safe surrounded by kids and women that I know that I realized I'd let my guard down about the most important thing in this world- our future. Now, I'm not advocating strapping him to my side with velcro and never letting him go again. On the contrary, he relishes his freedom and I believe he needs to learn to spread his wings. But I REALLY need to work on stranger danger. He's such a trusting kid, running off with kids he just met and walking over to their parents with no fear, that it's my responsibility to teach him to be cautious. I need to make sure that he knows to turn around and get my go ahead before going somewhere with someone he doesn't know. That he knows that it's OK to kick and scream if he's scared.
I guess my point is this: Don't, not even for a second, let your guard down. Even an idyllic day can be hiding something scary that could potentially turn dangerous. One obviously shouldn't live their life expecting a Boggart to jump out at any moment and therefore miss a bunch of good things in life; but you should have caution in all things. Oh, and ALWAYS listen to those random thoughts. Always, no matter how small.