... well, not really .... but ....
No, I didn't leave my kids locked in a scorching hot car with the windows rolled up for hours. I didn't give them the latest set of Ginsu knives, a couple of blindfolds and say 'here ya go boys ... HAVE FUN!'. And no, I didn't take them with me to visit the busiest crack house in Metro.
I did however do something pretty stupid the other night, that COULD have put all of us in danger, and didn't even realize the seriousness of what I had done until after the fact.
6:30pm. Dinnertime. The boys and I are sitting at the table having dinner. Yes, we do that. All sit together at the table every night, have dinner and play "what's the best and worst thing that happened today?" Well, almost every night ... I enjoy dinner in front of the TV watching Hannah Montana every now and then too ya know!!
*** And as a side note, I have to thank author James Patterson for that Best/Worst game. I got the idea a long time ago from his Alex Cross character, who plays it with his own kids lol. Thanks Mr Patterson! *****
Suddenly, I see a man walking up our driveway. As he got closer to the house, I knew right away I didn't recognize or 'know' him.
I answered the door, still trying to swallow a mouthful of steak. Curious as always, Alec was right behind me, and Adam, as always, was a couple of steps behind him.
The man was looking for his missing dog. Apparently he is a new neighbour, and his dog had run away that afternoon. He turned up on my doorstep because he heard Belle barking in our yard earlier in the afternoon, so he was checking to see if her barking had anything to do with his dog. Or maybe Belle's bark sounded like his dog's bark, and he was checking to see if we'd stolen his dog lol. Who knows.
Belle decided to make her appearance at that moment, so he was definitely able to see we had one of our own :-) I told him we hadn't seen his dog, but would keep an eye out for her, closed the door and went back to the table and sat down ... that's when it hit me. Although I hadn't actually let him in, I had just opened my front door, with my kids standing behind me, to a complete stranger. Some guy who had just walked up my driveway and knocked on my door. A man who was bigger than me, and who could have walked into my house with one quick shove of the door. Game over.
Oh I know! I can't think every stranger is a 'bad person', and I certainly don't want my kids being overly paranoid of every new person they meet. I have no reason to fear a stranger coming to my door in my neighbourhood. Despite the fact there were two home invasions last week. Two different areas of HRM. Two different issues. But it happens. One was less than 10 min away from me.
I'll also be the first to admit I read far too many 'thriller' novels, am a Law & Order (original and SVU) and CSI junkie and love a good scary movie that'll mess with your mind as well as make you go Ewwwww!!!! as you're peeking through your fingers. So I could simply have an overactive imagination when it comes to 'stuff' like this.
Having said that, as a single mom, living alone with two kids, you HAVE to think of the 'what ifs' sometimes, even if only to put your mind through a mental drill of sorts ... 'what would I do if ....' Cause ya know what my friends, although those shows/movies go to the extreme for the shock factor, alot of that scary sh*t happens ... where you least expect .... when you least expect.
About 10yrs ago, the ex and I were sitting in the downstairs rec room one night, watching TV, chillin'. It's around 10pm-ish. Front door opens and two good sized guys walked into our house. They stood in the entry way for a minute talking in low voices. When my ex started up the stairs and they saw him, they said they had walked into the wrong house. Mumbled a few other words and then left. Now, they didn't do anything wrong. And neither did Buddy with the lost dog. But THAT'S how fast it happens.
Call me overly paranoid in my own way, but it's easy for the 'OMIGOD! He could have just shoved the door and been in the house in a heartbeat. There'd be nothing I could do, he'd be in.' feelings to set in when you're settled back at the table, looking at your kids and your dinner and thinking wow ... what if .....
I really don't worry about it though. Not on an every day basis anyway. Only when strangers show up at my door ;-) I'm glad I live in a neighbourhood where I trust my neighbours, and really am not afraid to open the door to a stranger without a second thought.
Maybe I should be.
Maybe it's just another 'stranger danger' I'm over analyzing. Who knows.
Gotta go, someone's knocking at the door ...
If you don't hear from me next month, call 911 .... ask them to send Grissom!!!!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
... well, not really .... but ....