It was a talk I didn't want to have, but knew I needed to. I was sitting in the living room watching TV with the kids when yet another news break about the horror story of captivity and rape in Cleveland came on the air. When the kids were younger I would have changed the channel but not anymore. They are old enough to understand what I need to say about this.
My daughter is not quite 14, close to the age of one of the victims. I say to her, "Do you know what happened to those girls?" "They were kidnapped" she said. "They all accepted rides with him. I know not to take rides from strangers. " "Did you know that one of the girls knew him, was friends with his daughter, probably thought she could trust him because he was her friends dad?" No she hadn't heard that. Don't take rides from even a friend's parent unless there are other kids in the car. And you called me and I said it was OK. Or I called you and said that person was picking you up. This man's own family had no clue of what was going on. No one knows everything about another person. If you don't know what to do, do what is safe."
I hate to have to say all this. I hate the thought that she may one day reject someone who truly does mean well, truly wants to help her. But there are very few people one can trust in every aspect of ones life. And the sooner she understands that, the safer she will be.
Its not a happy talk, but if we are to be responsible parents, its a talk we must have.
The Theme Thursday topic for this week was Good Samaritans. Another week I hope to write a lovely post about the kindnesses done for me and by me with no thought of reward. But this week when I sat to write I could only think how this man perverted the impulse to trust the Samaritans among us, and left me having to have this conversation with my trusting and altruistic child. One more little sorrow among the greater ones in this story.