I kinda lost my cool with my kids this morning. We were watching the Today Show with breakfast on and the story of the college student who’s gone missing came on. I was barely paying attention until I heard the reporter say her friends last saw her when she walked home alone.
might have yelled.
“What mom?” My kids answered in justifiable confusion.
“Don’t ever walk home alone in college.”
I tried to calmly explain that when they’re older there will be opportunities to leave their friends and think they’re safe enough to walk anywhere alone and do anything by themselves and sometimes that’s not a good idea. I tried to refrain from adding, “because you might be too bombed to make good decisions.”
I have no idea what happened to Lauren Spierer. Whatever news reports say, I’m in no position to comment on her or what led to her disappearance. This isn’t about Lauren per se. My heart breaks for her parents who sent her off to school trusting that she would be safe. My heart hurts for her friends who were with her and are probably blaming themselves a little. But, this isn’t about her it’s about the fact that her story is just a reminder that you can never relax entirely when it comes to your kids.
In the name of not scaring my kids, I try to keep these kinds of news stories from them. We don’t talk much about what “could be”. They are little so I can still keep them safe. I teach them basic safety rules and then the rest I hope I can manage when the time comes. But, I will admit although I’m normally a perfectly rational person, as a mom I’m suddenly scared of the things that go bump in the night. As a woman, I walk everywhere alone and probably did even when I was too drunk in college. But as a parent, I have a carnal desire to keep my kids safe from everything-including the demons we can’t see; including the demons that might not be anywhere but our imaginations. Rational or not, I am afraid.
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