Thursday, September 20, 2007

An Afternoon at the Park

The kids have been wanting to go our neighborhood park all week and it is such a beautiful day here today we went over after school. Usually the park is crawling with kids and parents. However, today there was only a youngish man, who seemed strangely out of place, with two kids. I figured that more people would show up soon and sent the kids on their way to play as I settled in to read a book. After a few minutes the man started watching my every move. Needless to say that creeped me out but I tried to stay calm. All of sudden he moved over to the section of the park that we were playing in and stood right in front of me still looking at me. Now I am starting to freak on the inside thinking what should I do now. I looked around to see if anyone else was heading to the park but our entire neighborhood seemed eerily quiet today. I decided to call Sam on my cell phone thinking that the guy would back off but still he stood there watching. I walked away from the weirdo and quietly explained the situation to Sam, who is 18 miles away in Bellevue and I'm sure feeling quite helpless. The creep again takes another step towards me as I say to Sam, "Now you are going to be here in about 5 minutes right." At that point the guy says to me as I'm on the phone, "Do you have any water?" I say no. He says, "They need a drinking fountain here. We are thirsty as hell (yes i have to use the word because I'm quoting)." I say, "I'm sorry I don't have anything with me." Now he just starts staring at my backpack which I stupidly left on the bench which he is standing right in front of. All the while Sam is saying, "What's going on? What is happening?" Sam is telling me to leave the park and I'm thinking how am I going to get my kids out of here without a total scene and them asking why are we leaving etc. My next move is to get the kids to the swings which are on the other side of the park. This seemed to be a good move because although he kept his eyes on us he did not follow us and then they soon left. Now you are all probably thinking, "Well that story sure was anti-climatic." And yes it is but I'm thankful that nothing bad happened because something just didn't feel right in the park today. I'll never know what was going on in that man's head. Was he thinking something sinister? Was he the pedophile who I know lives around here? Was he just a creep? Was he thinking I was one hot mama? OR Was he simply an uncle bringing his niece and nephew to the park trying to make small talk with another person because like me sometimes he's starved for adult conversation? Only God knows for sure. Tonight I'm very grateful that you all won't be reading about us in the World Herald tomorrow but I'm sad that the reality of keeping my kids safe in this world we live in means always having your guard up especially when there are strangers around.

4 comments:

Melanie said...

so scary!! we've been going to the park here. you just never know. i'm glad that you and the kids are okay. you can never be too careful.

charjoy said...

That was scary! I'm glad the story ending was ANTI-CLIMATIC!!! So glad all three of you are safe!

Holly said...

I hear that predators (sp?) are scared of confidence so next time just ask him what in the world is he doing so close to you...ok, just kidding, I wouldn't do that in a million years. Well, actually I probably would but my point is just that...umm.. I don't have one I guess :-) Sounds like you did good, that's all!

The Millers said...

We were at a public water "shower" fountain this summer (where the kids run through it...) and noticed an older man taking pictures of kids in their swimsuits. We couldn't place him with anyone. I'm so glad Cory was with us! I agree with Melanie- you can never be too careful!

Next time take a camera and a baseball bat!