Tag Archives: child

Abduction – #MeToo

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I was almost abducted.  It took two weeks of being followed for me to realize that I was in danger.

My best friend and I would frequently walk the neighborhood, going to the corner store, or just taking walks to pass time.  We noticed a man in a van waving his private parts as he drove by.  We were at the age where we didn’t quite understand what was happening, but knew somehow it was wrong.  We finally asked each other if we saw what we saw, and we were in agreement that we did see something creepy.

Not mentioning it to anyone, I set out to do my daily paper route one day, not knowing what lay ahead.
As I walked the sidewalks that I’d walked a million times, I saw the van drive down the street.  Looking up from my routine, I saw this man wave his genitals as he drove by.  I began to panic. I felt my pulse quicken and was in a state of confusion.  I did, however, understand that this fear was real.  My house was nearby, so I ran inside to tell my mother.

Upon entering the house, I crouched down, as to not be seen through the windows, and confessed to my mother that I was a target of this deranged person.  She calmly told me that I had nothing to worry about, and that I should say the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23:4, and I would be fine.  She continued to say that I should finish my paper route, and to not worry.

I don’t know why I continued the paper route, or why I even left my house, but my mother said to say the Lord’s Prayer, and that’s what I was going to do.  She said I would be safe and I halfheartedly believed her.  As I took a side street, connecting two major roads, I saw the van again.  This time, it was slowly turning onto the side street heading toward me.  I was on the 3rd or 4th Psalm 23:4 as the van approached me.  Without any premeditated thought, I instinctively ran into an overgrown grassy corner lot, heading toward the middle and layed flat on my stomach, paper sack by my side.

I held my breath, as to not have the grass move to give away my location.  I remember feeling shocked as the van stopped on the side of the road and the driver’s door opening and closing.  I was petrified.
He was coming after me, and I had no protection, nowhere to go.  I could see him approaching the lot through the grass. “ The Lord is my shepherd…the Lord is my shepherd.”  Then all of a sudden, I saw him re-enter his van, as another car came driving up the side street.  He didn’t want to be seen I realized, he didn’t want to get caught.  He was going to let me go.

After about 20 minutes of lying flat on my belly, I realized that the coast was clear.  I should have ran home, but I had a paper route to finish.  So, I collected myself and continued my route.  But, it didn’t take long before he appeared again.  I didn’t know what to do this time.  I was safely canvasing my customer’s homes, keeping close to their doorways and away from the sidewalk.  But, it wasn’t enough.  I was inflamed with the psychological toll this was taking on me.  I was not safe, and I had stopped saying the prayer.

Finally, I had enough.  I was delivering a paper to the back door of a customer, when the van stopped at the end of the driveway.  Luckily, the customer was in his back yard.  I implored him to help me, trying to explain what was happening, without getting into the gory details.  Right about halfway through my plea, the van pulled up at the end of the driveway.  The customer was at his back door, not visible from the street.  I stopped to catch my breath and saw a devious smile from behind the van’s glass.  The customer stepped away from his backdoor, and looked toward the street.  The van peeled out with a loud sound of the revved engine and burning rubber.  I pointed toward the van to tell my customer that this was the man following me.  My customer called my father to tell him that I needed to be picked up.  “The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want.”

Detectives came to my house a couple of days later to question me about the incident.  It was during Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  I hated to have to stop watching my favorite show.  They asked me all kinds of questions about the pervert, which I answered completely and truthfully.  My father sat at the table with us.

I learned a few weeks later that the man was caught, and that my mother didn’t want me to go to court to relive the entire events again.  That was fine with me at the time.  However, looking back, I can’t understand why she didn’t want him off the streets.  Would someone else know to say the Psalm 23:4 when stalked?  And, most importantly, I wondered why my mother didn’t protect me at the time.

I have now come to terms with what happened.  I trusted my mother, and she trusted God.  It was her way of dealing with the situation.  It was 1974, and these things didn’t happen in suburbia, or so we thought.  I would have protected my children in a much different way, but this was her way.

I have said the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23:4 under my breath many times since the near abduction.  There will always be predators amongst us, but they won’t take me.  They can’t take me.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.  Who knows what saved me that day.  Could it have been prayer, or quick instincts?  I’ll never really know for sure.

Can I get an AMEN?!?!

In the mouth

Everything goes into the mouth; toys, socks, shoes and whatever is laying in his path.  There is a fine line between the habits of a young child and a new puppy.  The destruction can seem epic, or at least serious enough to cause momentary insanity.  I’ve bid goodbye to a handmade quilt I made that was disassembled because of boredom, with the hand sewn seams ripped apart by sharp white baby teeth.  I wanted to cry as I looked at the batting laying all around him on the bed like happy puffy clouds.  His tail was wagging when I walked in on the perfect storm – teething puppy and delicious quilt.

The quilt was only the beginning.  Did I mention the small rug that was ripped apart?  Oh, that was a proud moment for McDermott.  Pulling the threads up from the mat with intense concentration, occasionally chewing a stray thread.  He stopped mid pull to look at me with great pride. “Look what I did Mommy” shined in his eyes.  Oh the joy he felt in sharing his accomplishment.  Again, I wanted to scream, but instead pulled the rug away from him, telling myself, “he’s only a baby, he’s only a baby.”  I walked off to look for a chew toy to keep him busy until the next disaster.

If the oral fixation isn’t enough to drive me crazy, there is the jumping.  Oh yes, jumping to eat, jumping for attention, jumping when excited, jumping when bored.  This exercise is usually followed by frenzied running about the house with his oversized paws, sliding into couches and tables with his long legs getting wrapped around each other.  His favorite thing to do is jump on the end table, and launch himself, flying high, onto the couch.  I have to admit this makes me laugh every time, even though I shouldn’t let him do it.  If I was an Olympic Judge, I’d rate his landing a 10.0.  And, I think he believes this IS a competition because he sits at the end of the couch waiting for a treat after his performance.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my new puppy and look forward to him mellowing out with age, just like the rest of us.  For the most part, he is well behaved, but in those moments of silence I can be sure something is dreadfully wrong.  “Why is it so quiet?” I think to myself.  And, sure enough, there is always something in his mouth; a shoe, a  rug, underware, or a slipper.  The other day, he was gnawing on the leg of my antique Empire table.  Needless to say, his strong little jaws caused extensive damage. I just shook my head, and looked for a chew toy for him.  Sigh.

Like all new mothers, there are days that I reach exhaustion very quickly.   I am confident in my reserve of patients, knowing that shit happens.  I try to keep up with our training lessons, but his cuteness tends to win me over.  I don’t want to be “the bad guy.”  Jamie is the alpha-dog, I’m just one of the pack.  He follows me everywhere and loves me unconditionally, and that makes me happy.  After all, isn’t that the reason we get puppys?  His playfulness is infectious, his kisses are pure comfort.

He will outgrow puppyhood one day, so I should appreciate the fanatical energy while it’s here.
You can always buy new rugs and new shoes.  Not sure I can replace the Empire table, but I’ll learn to live with the chewed leg.  Silence will not always scare me, it will be a time to sit with my dog and enjoy his company.

Until then…where is McDermott? Where did I put his chew toy?!?!

Liar Beware

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was an essay written by my son, after he stomped off to his room to fulfill his punishment of writing about why it’s not OK to lie.  I believe he was 7 or 8 at the time.

This may be more endearing to me as the mom, but I wanted to share the innocence of a child trying to learn an important lesson.  By using the ugly  twins – “selfish & dishonest”  I think he may have really understood why it was wrong….plus he was off the hook when he handed it to me.

I hope in the long run this lesson was effective, as I am sure  he hasn’t  lied to me since then    : (      Yeah.

[click on essay to enlarge the graphic]