Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What's a mom supposed to do with a fact like this?

Email blast from neighbor two days ago:

Title: Man In Van"

Heads up to everyone who has kids out and about in the area. Yesterday (Saturday, 6/28) at about 2 pm a 9 year old girl in our neighborhood was riding her bike to a friend's house. A man in a blue van pulled up next to her. He told her he had a puppy in the van. He got out of the van and approached her and became angry when she would not get into his van with him. He threatened to call the police if she would not go with him. She got away. The police were notified and interviewed her extensively. The van was a late model utility type vehicle with a Cubs sticker on the back driver's side window. He is a tall, medium build white man with tan skin. He drove away westbound on Whirlaway.

Hopefully he has been scared off but please be alert and watch out for the kids!

My heart skips a beat and I think this can't be happening. I mean, I know it can be happening but most times, I like to live with an "ignorance is bliss" motto and go under the assumption that things like this happen in those other towns, not mine. I'm perfectly happy over here in my cul-de-sac with my nice neighbors in the western suburbs of Chicago living with my head in the sand. To be honest, I was a little bit annoyed when my neighbor sent me that little reality check because... sigh... well, now what the heck am I supposed to do with that information???

I mean, now I'm totally between a rock and a hard place.

Do I tell Megan and Jack to look out for some white guy in a blue van because he tried to but didn't quite abduct a girl less than two miles from our house? Let's face it-like I said, I live in the western suburbs of Chicago. Let's venture a guess as to how many white guys in blue minivans are in my town. Hmm... um... maybe...twenty...THOUSAND???? They are a freaking dime a dozen!

Delivering that kind of news to my kids may cause their little world to stop spinning on its axis. I'm pained at the thought of causing them undue stress as they contemplate that any car, and any person, might be coming to steal them away. I can already see the onslaught of nightmares that Jack (my sensitive child)will have upon hearing such news. And I can also imagine Megan (my rule following, toe-the-line child) inciting panic amongst the other kids in the cul-de-sac about the remotely possible, but probably more of a chance of getting struck by lightening, abduction that may or may not ever take place.


Do I say nothing and hope for the best? This certainly is the more attractive option of the two. Given my penchant for sticking my head in the sand, and Jay's (my extremely logical husband) genetic predisposition to only worry about things that actually happen and require worrying, that will likely be our approach to the situation. But I can't help but have a bit of unease about this approach. Because my morbid nature immediately compels me to think of the worst case scenario. You know, the one where my kids are happily playing in the cul-de-sac and then I look out my window and see a blue van with a Cubs sticker on the driver's side window speeding away and I'm left thinking, "But if I'd only mentioned to be on the look out..."


Carolyn...Online said...

Hmmmm.... I think an overall, general strangers talk is never a bad thing. Don't take the candy, there is no puppy, run back to mom, etc. Then arm them with tasers.

Ms Picket To You said...

a similar thing happened here, but the bad man moved to town. the kids heard about him from other kids and so i was forced to discuss with them. which was weird and awful and I wasn't sure how much to say, or what to say for that matter. he moved away about two weeks ago, but still, it sucks that they have to know that dudes like that even EXIST but I guess in a way I am glad that they do.