Last week, a barefoot man was discovered in a tree at a public park. The tree was in a wooded area and the man was staring at the children who were playing in the woods.
Dirty needles and condoms have been found at this park. School teachers have been videotaped having sex at this park and last year a sex offender that had been recently released from prison threatened to hurt a child.
Should I keep taking my children to this park?
I would be naive to think that these kinds of shenanigans don't happen at other public parks, however, why would I go to a park knowing that just last week an adult male who no one knew was watching the kids play from up in a tree. I can think of a million different scenerios for what could happen, although thankfully, nothing did.
Does that fact that nothing happened last week safeguard my children from what could happen this week? No. Is that me living my life in fear? Absolutely not. As a mother I am required to protect my children from danger. If dirty needles and condoms were found in my grocery store, I would raise hell with the manger and then go to a different store. Why? Well, dirty needles and condoms are disgusting, pose a health threat and aren't something I'd want my children to come in contact with while shopping. Why should this be any different with a public park?
If we were at the mall and an adult male was in a tree in the children's play area, yet had no child of his own, would I feel comfortable taking my kids there to play? No. Is that out of fear? No, it's out of common sense.
Do I live my life in fear of what could happen? No, but you can be sure that I take every precaution to safeguard my kids from crime.
There is a difference between safeguarding my children and being overprotective. Oren is a crazy toddler who often times makes poor decisions. While I'm not going to let him fall off of the kitchen counter, I won't rush to keep him from slipping on the bucket of water he just dumped all over the floor. Yes, it is my duty to keep him safe, however, there are good learning moments when mistakes are made and consequences are realized.
Where is the learning moment when your kid steps on a dirty needle at the park? Or when that man jumps out of the tree onto your kid?
Perhaps the man in the tree was just a man in a tree. A man with no day job who likes to climb trees at public parks and watch children he doesn't know play in the woods. That sounds innocent enough right? RIGHT?