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Stranger Danger & Mama Drama, a Great Mix!


Stranger DangerI grew up during the era of the Adam Walsh tragedy.  Unfortunately, those heartbreaking turn of events mark a period in modern American culture when kids and parents began to understand how much the world had truly changed.  If you were born prior to the 80’s, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Long before John Walsh was catching America’s Most Wanted, my family and I watched the tragedy of his son’s kidnapping and untimely demise unfold in a made-for-TV movie… and for the first time, I didn’t feel safe.  The reality that someone would hurt a child was once unfathomable to me.  Now, fast forward a few decades, where not talking to strangers is the norm, the term “child predator” does not affectionately refer to a hungry toddler searching for snacks, and Lacey Peterson unintentionally picked up the baton from Adam Walsh.  Before you get too bogged down in the sad reality of our ever-changing times, here comes my usual ray of sunshine…

Being the great mom that I am, I forgot to order my daughter’s lunch for February and March.  Today was pizza day, and I kept imagining my daughter eating a turkey sandwich while drooling over everyone else’s lunch.  So, to make up for my “greatness”, I decided to pick up pizza and have lunch with my daughter and her class.  On my way to pick up the pizza, I… wait for it… ran out of gas.  Before you judge me, the fuel gage in my car stopped working recently, so I wasn’t trying to eek by on fumes. 

Anyway, it was cloudy and raining, and the nearest gas station was about 3-4 blocks away.  We have roadside assistance, but time was of the essence… I could see the drool slowly falling from my daughter’s lips, the tears starting to pool in her eyes, and the pizza guy tossing my order in the trash while blackballing me from their customer registry.  So, I did what any frustrated, delusional mother would do in my situation, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Luckily, my car stopped in front of an auto parts store, so I was able to pick up a gas can.  Then, I embarked on my journey to the gas station.  I didn’t start out cold, but certainly ended up that way, as I wasn’t really wearing a coat and the rain didn’t help.  Right now, you’re probably thinking, “I thought she mentioned something about a ray of sunshine”.  Well, if you know me, then you also know there’s always a story. 

Almost on cue, a seemingly nice stranger pulled up in a non-descript white van and offered me a ride.  Awww, how sweet of him!  Well, that’s not exactly what I thought.  Actually, I thought about Adam Walsh and Lacey Peterson, as well as my own children, and declined his very generous offer.  Before you applaud my sense of safety, I did accept a ride from another stranger, a woman.  I was a lot colder and discovered that my boots weren’t really made for walkin’, so I said a quick prayer and took a leap of faith.  Obviously, I lived to tell about it.  Heather, a real-life good samaritan, was so sweet and normal (thank God!).  Turns out, a stranger had helped her when she found herself in the same situation recently, so she was just paying it forward.  I missed lunch with my daughter, but was blessed all the same.  In a world where it seems that no one can be trusted, it was shockingly refreshing to be able to trust a stranger… perhaps for the first time since I was about 8 years old.  Thanks Heather!  The moral of the story is not that it’s ok to talk to strangers (usually not a very smart or safe choice), but rather that blessings can be found in the most unlikely places, like the hearts of our neighbors.

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