Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Take Rides From Strangers

Earlier this summer my husband and I took the little guy to the annual Corn Festival in his home town. (insert Yee-Haw here) The opening night finishes with a fireworks display. Everyone from the town comes to the park for this event - young and old. We parked the car abou 10 houses down from the "party house" which is at the corner of the street where the park is.

After the grand finale fireworks were finished, we waited a bit so the floods of people could get out. If we left in too much of a hurry we'd surely be sitting at the stoplight (or cop that was directing traffic) for a good twenty minutes. After the rush, we walked down to the car. There were only a handful of cars left. Everyone got into their cars and zoomed off. Since we had to pack everything up and get the baby all situated, we took a little longer than others. That was when I noticed a little boy wondering around. He looked like he was about ten years old and looked lost. He politely came up to my husband and asked if he could use his phone. Of course! We continued getting loaded up.

A few minutes passed and the little boy still hadn't gotten ahold of anyone. He seemed like he didn't know what to do. We finished getting situated, then asked the young man if he had a ride home. It was 11:30 at night. It was dark. There wasn't anyone around. He said yes, please and off we went.

What was this kid thinking?!!? Hadn't he learned not to take anything from strangers - rides included?? Luckily my husband and I aren't murders, rapists or child molesters. But what if we were? He didn't know where we could have taken him. First of all, why did this kid's friends leave him at the fair? Friendship 101- never leave a straggler! Buddy system people! I know it may have potentially been very creepy of me to ask this kid if he needed a ride, but I wanted to make sure no other creepjob picked him up. I wish I could have had a word with his mother.

If we didn't give him a ride, what would he have done? Didn't have a phone, his friends had left him... what are the options? Always have a plan! When I was growing up, we didn't have cell phones (wow, that's strange). My parents and I made up a code word and the only people allowed to drive us home had to know the code word. I still remember it to this day. It's the most ridiculous word and no one would ever guess it. I guess I would have walked home, but if it was too far, then I'd go back into the fair and look for an authority figure there. Given the fact that this fair has a beer tent, I'm sure there were plenty of cops willing to give this young man a ride home.

We dropped the boy not too far away from the fair. It was, however, quite a walking distance for a ten year old at 11:30 at night. He went to his friend's house. Will his mother ever know he took a ride from a stranger? Probably not. Hopefully he won't find himself in that type of situation again. Who knows, the next couple that offers him a ride might have a window-less astro van filled with "candy."


Anonymous said...


Aunt Becky said...

Those child-napping vans are SCARY. Wow. Thank GOD you were THERE!

Amy Brown said...

yikes it really shows how the young minds think. You have to be so careful with the kids and make sure they always have a way to get in touch with you. Poor kid, good think he found you and not some weirdo

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