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I’m mad

Why am I mad? Because a man offered my child a ride to school yesterday morning. Yes, it was cold, and yes, it’s possible his intentions were good, but it doesn’t matter.

Normal, well-adjusted adults know better.

My son handled the situation perfectly, and I’m incredibly proud of him and thankful that he’s been paying attention to the messages he gets from us and at school. But, I’m angry because the man stole our sense of security and rattled my son’s confidence in the world.

He liked walking to school, but for now, I’m driving him because I’d rather overreact than under-react. Obviously, a good neighborhood is no guarantee of safety. With one simple act, this guy turned our routine upside down and changed our whole notion of what was safe.

And that was with a good outcome.

On a small level it reminds me of a terrorist threat. Out of fear, we change our behavior in hopes of preventing something that may not be a threat at all. But what else can we do? Because if we don’t change our behavior and something happens, we’ll never be able to forgive ourselves for the consequences.

That’s why I’m mad.


Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    That is scary. You should be mad. I would also be mad as hell.

    The important thing you should remember is your son is smart and safe (because he was smart)

    Look at the bright side, it is allowing you a few more minutes with your son every day.

  2. Curtis


    Gwen, you have plenty of reason to be mad. We have come a long way from the the life I knew as a kid in what was actually a community in 1957.

    To be blunt, ours is a predator society on many levels. Have you given any thought to at least some initial back ground check on this guy?

    Please consider my anger tossed in with yours.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Curtis. I probably should have been clear that I don’t know who the guy was. Just someone driving by. I appreciate the support.

  3. KM Fawcett


    It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

    But don’t let your anger blind you to what really happened here. Your son was approached and reacted appropriately. Be proud of him and of you and your husband for teaching him well. He may have lost a sense of confidence in the world, but he has gained a sense of confidence in himself.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Kathy. I am extremely proud of my son. It’s hard not to wonder if your lessons are sinking in, and as much as I don’t want them tested, I’m obviously glad he passed in this case.

      I hadn’t thought about the confidence gained, though. I appreciate that.

  4. spleeness


    I’m angry just hearing about this. Don’t people know better?? A little girl in a store recently was very friendly to me and I purposely reached out to involve her parents. Responsible adults should understand how their actions could be interpreted. This guy could have been incredibly naive but if I were you, I’d rather overreact too. Grr. Does he live nearby?

  5. Reply

    Glad your son responded appropriately and hopefully, the guy was really just being kind. I wish we could trust in others. It’s sad that we really can’t. I’d be feeling and reacting the exact same way.

    PS – Is it SNOWING on your blog?????

    • Reply

      I agree, Stacia. I *want* to be able to think the best of others, but I won’t take a chance with my son.

      And yes, it’s snowing on my blog. 😉

  6. Rylee


    How unnerving! Ron and I have always felt your boys were good kids. Well disiplined and polite. I am glad he responded the way he did. I believe it is because of your (and your husband’s) parenting. I totally understand the frustrating anger too. Hugs my friend!

  7. Reply

    Did you report this to the school? I would. They had a similar incident back when my darling teen was in Middle school. Problem was reported and a note was sent to the school en masse by the Principal.

    Sorry you went through this!


    • Reply

      Christine: I reported it to the police officer at the school so both the school and the cops would know, especially in case they see a trend with the guy.


  8. Reply

    I’m so glad you reported it, Gwen. And so sorry t happened. We want to believe the best, but unfortunately sometimes we have to react as if it’s the worst.

    I’m proud of your son. We’re just beginning our unit on this with the kids this year. Sometimes it feels so repetitive and, like you, we wonder how much they’re taking in. I’m going to use your son’s experience to inspire my efforts this year.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Mary. They really do listen, probably more than we think. The hardest part about having kids is balancing independence with safety. It’s a daily struggle with all that’s out there.

      Know that your efforts are worth it.

  9. tolo


    Was he a neighbor? Carrying a fellow school mate? Or just an out of the blue invite?

  10. Reply

    I’m so sorry. I wish it hadn’t happened, and the world wasn’t such a place that you needed to worry about things. 🙁 I hope you get your sense of security back soon.

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