So, my daughter and I are at the supermarket, doin’ a simple grocery run. We get back to my truck, fill it up, and I take the cart back to the cart corral. As I started walking back, I saw my daughter standing outside the truck, door open, obviously waiting for me to startup the truck and get the A/C going. However, at that same moment that I saw her, I saw a fuzzy, gray-haired, scarred, tough-looking guy heading right towards my daughter. He seemed to be walking with purpose and it was as if he was making a bee-line for my 11 year-old Noelle, light of my life.
Well, essentially, I became insane. My mind, leaving practical, rational, sound reasoning in the dust, leaped to the conclusion that this was a bad guy and he thought she was unattended and vulnerable. So I went from a meander to a fast walk to a run, all the while trying to think of where to hit him, head or mid-section. At the last moment, I had a change of thought. If I got there too late, he might snatch her and run into a waiting car.
So I went to Plan B, distraction. I yelled, at the top of my lungs, “May I help you?!?,” all the while running in his direction. He got right up to my daughter, stopped, turned in my direction, at the same time as he put his key into his own car, parked right next to ours.
Yeah, I totally felt like a shmuck.
I apologized profusely, trying in vain to explain my reaction, but he was not overly receptive. He just beat feet outta there, not that I blame him one bit.
And it got me to thinking, am I overprotective?
At the same token, am I overly paranoid when I’m the stranger walking near children? See, whenever I’m out for one of my daily walks, I randomly cross paths with other people, some of whom have kids. Except they don’t know me, and I have a beard (which is weird in Los Angeles), as well as a New York walk, very purposeful. So when I realize that I’m going to be passing kids, I think that the other grownups might wonder about me, that they might be afraid of me. So I put my head down, making sure not to make eye contact with the kids. I may make eye contact with the grownups, but if they look the least bit suspicious of me, I look away and keep walking.
Am I nuts?
[tags]parenting, safety, overprotective, paranoid[/tags]