There was a post going around this week on Facebook, regarding a man that had approached a child playing basketball in his driveway, on 50th and SE Stark.
The child's mother was home and saw the man talking to her child, and went out and confronted him. Apparently, he was acting very strange and insisting on getting close to the child, and after the mother called the police and photographed him, he fled.
This was very upsetting to me, because it is so close to our house.
Mark and talked to Freyja at dinner about safety...
Never get in a car with a stranger.
No grown up will ever need help from a kid, so if they ask for your help, then that is a sign that they are a badguy, and you should run away.
You don't have to worry about hurting a grown up's feelings, you can be rude, you can ignore them and you can walk away.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, or yucky, you can tell us.
Dad and I would never send anyone to pick you up that you didn't know, so never go with anyone, even if they say we sent them.
If someone asks you to keep a secret from your parents, that is a sign they are a badguy.
If someone is bothering you at the park, look for a family, or a woman with children, to get help. Don't be afraid to ask people to call your parents.
It goes on and on.
We try to be blasé, and empowering at the same time.
We have had this talk often throughout her life, but you never know.
You just don't know if things sink in.
I tell her about the time Maxwell lied to us, when he was in Jr. High, and went to party in Beaverton, and wound up having a terrible time, because he was with bad kids, but afraid to call us.
Maxwell nods, solemnly.
Even though we were really angry about his bad choices, we would have come and picked him up.
Freyja looks astonished.
She is typically the child that makes the bad choices, which mostly revolve around eating an entire box of Cheezits and not brushing her teeth properly.
The notion of her brother lying and staying out all night with sketchy teenagers, is mind blowing.
I tell her about the time I was hitchhiking, and got a ride from really bad guys, with my friend Dom. They would not let us out of the car for a long time, until I started screaming and screaming and banging my shoe against the window.
That was a really dumb thing.
Getting into a car with strangers, is really dangerous and stupid.
I tell them cautionary tales about smoking
JUST DON'T DO IT!!
The conversation devolves a little and Freyja wanders off to watch TV, and Maxwell and I are left at the table.
He is leaving for the weekend to a music festival in Seattle.
At 17 he is very mature and I trust him completely.
He got all that ratbag stuff out of his system in Jr. High.
Please make good choices the weekend, I could not stand it if anything happened to you, you know. I would just disappear, evaporate, whither up and die.
He gets up and stands behind me, and gives me a patronizing kiss on the top of my head.
He tells me to "calm down", which makes me furious, but I know he's joking.
"And watch your teeth!"
(last year he was kicked in the face by a crowd surfer).