Friday, November 06, 2009

A Blink of the Eye

I hit the publish button a bit early as I had forgotten to add that this is my "Only the Good Friday" post. For anyone who isn't familiar with Only the Good Friday, it was set up by blogger Shelley Tucker of This Eclectic Life and although it initially was set for Friday publications, it has changed to now being "Only the Good" on any day! Check out Shelley's blog for more information on posting about the good things as you see them in your life.
We've all heard, most of us also often cite too those adages about how quickly children change, grow up, become adults and are out on their own.

Somehow, I rather think the events I'm revealing here today really do serve to show the "Only The Good" side of life. Let me know if you agree or not.

"In the blink of an eye" -or so it seems -those things occur and we're left wondering just how it could be the years can pass by so quickly.

And by the same measurement of time, we know too how fast things can happen -often terrible, life-altering events -that seem almost beyond belief too.

Take for example the horrific automobile crash I wrote about here about 2-3 weeks ago now in which the young couple, parents of two small children, were both killed -dead at the scene of the accident -and those two children lost the people responsible for their care, the individuals who loved them so deeply now gone forever.

Other things can happen too that may not have as tragic an ending as that accident but that can change one's outlook, the mode of operation, from an event that had the potential of being completely life-altering but thankfully, didn't quite materialize in that manner.

Just enough though to perhaps scare the living daylights out of us though. An event that maybe makes your blood run cold as you think of this and what could have happened, thankful though that you were lucky enough to come away physically unscathed perhaps but mentally, changed.

We had just such an event here in our family this past week.

My older daughter phoned me Monday night and I could hear the panic in her voice as well as in how she was breathing too while trying to talk to me. Her voice was quivering, lowering, then rising, quiet then angry and loud.

She began to unfold the events of that day to me and the more she talked, the more I could feel the terror creeping in, deep inside me too.

Her son, my oldest grandchild, is twelve years old now -a big boy; very tall for his age as he surpasses his Aunt Mandy who is 5 foot 7 1/2 in height. He isn't heavy but is quite well built for his age and height. He's also generally a pretty calm young man too -usually quietly taking in the scenes of things happening around him. That trait, it would appear, worked well for him on Monday afternoon.

His mother and dad have shared custody of him so some days he goes to his paternal grandmother's home after school and other days, he rides the bus to where his mother and her fiance live. Monday was a day to ride the bus to his mother's home.

The bus stop is maybe a half-mile from their home. It's a very quiet country road, winding past some newer homes and a big farm house belonging to an Amish family.

He was about half-way home when a car drove past him, moving rather slowly he noted, went up to a driveway and turned around. As it came towards him, the car began to slow down, more and more, until the driver pulled up and stopped alongside my grandson.

Speaking to the boy, the driver began by telling him he knew my grandson didn't know him and that he didn't know my grandson either. He also added that he realized too that he didn't know the boy's parents nor did they know him too. But, he was wondering if he could give the boy a ride home, that he would be very happy to do that for him.

All the things that we try to teach children and hope and pray that they absorb and remember came into play then in my grandson's mind as he began to think -and to realize -this just wasn't right.

He then tried to concentrate on remembering whatever he could in the way of details about this man, about the car too, so he could give a good description of what was taking place.

The man repeated again and again, his offer of a ride for the grandson and the boy stayed his distance from the vehicle as he pointed out a house almost across the road from where they were then and said "It's okay. I'm just going to my friend's house right there."

Finally -much to the boy's relief -the man took no for an answer and as he pulled away, he spun the tires and sped off.

My grandson then hurried home as quickly as possible and told his mother immediately what had just transpired. She and her fiance then called the police and reported this event.

After coming to the house and talking to him, the police told him he had done an excellent job of remembering various characteristics about this man - older, probably early 50s, salt and pepper hair, very blue eyes. Although he didn't get the make, model or year of the vehicle, he did remember it was a burgundy color and also, noted that there was a bunch of junk-type stuff on the front seat of the car that had the boy thinking too if he'd accepted the offer of the ride, just where would this guy have had him to sit?

The police went to the farmhouse of the Amish family and spoke to a son of theirs who verified having seen the vehicle and his description matched my grandson's as well.

Two days later, the school principal called the grandson to his office to speak with him about what had happened, to commend him for staying calm and using his wits to remember as many details as he could. He also informed the grandson that the police had told him they have had two other reports of a man matching much the same description and driving a car of the same color within the school district in recent days too.

All of this brings to one's mind, of course, the terrible things that COULD have happened between my grandson and this stranger. It also makes one very, very thankful too that nothing that dire did occur.

But how quickly -had that man jumped from the car and overpowered my grandson -would his life, his parents, mine, the other grandparents, his aunt and uncle's have changed -drastically!

He may be a big boy for his age but if taken by surprise -as my son said when I told him what had occurred - he could easily have been overpowered, knocked out and carried off.

Way, way, too easily.

I had a lot of hesitation about writing this post. I wasn't sure I wanted to tell the whole blogosphere about what had happened for fear of causing more concern or embarrassment to my grandson, perhaps even to my daughter too in the process. Initially, I was to shaken to pull my thoughts together in a somewhat cogent manner to even write about this.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that I have to write this and show how some people do use various methods to accost our young people and also, how important it is that those youngsters are able to come forward to tell what has happened. Also then to reiterate how easily someone could possibly snatch a child, even a pre-teen who looks pretty capable of handling and defending himself, and make off with the individual.

And so I write this now as a warning to parents, grandparents, caretakers -whoever -and also to children and teens -of any age range -to be extremely cautious, to never, ever accept a favor or ride from a stranger, regardless of how nice, handsome, clean, polite, that person may seem.

And to be sure to relay any and all information about someone who doesn't belong and who is acting somewhat strangely to the adults in one's life and then also, to the police.

I am so grateful today that my grandson was unharmed but that still doesn't keep my mind from racing to the "What if" aspects of this scenario. I'm so grateful that my grandson kept himself cool and calm; that he thought to tell the man he was just going to the house across the road, that he thought to organize his mind to be able to take in as many details as possible too and perhaps those things in his report will help the police to locate this person and get him away from the potential of harming any child in the future too.

All of that happened just so quickly -"in the blink of an eye" -you could say.

So take the opportunity everytime it presents itself too to show those closest to us just how much we value and love them -extra kind words, more than the usual hugs and kisses too perhaps. We never know when it might be the last chance we have to do that, you know.

And please, above all, stay safe!


terri said...

What a creepy thing to have happen, and what a sharp kid your grandson is to have kept his wits about him. Sounds like he didn't give the guy any room to trick him, and his quick thinking probably saved his life.

Thank you for sharing this. Your grandson's experience may very well provide the knowledge another child needs to stay safe if ever in a similar situation.

TechnoBabe said...

Your grandson gets the gold star for safety. Good for him to keep a cool head and stay far from the car in the first place and then to be able to describe the man later is incredible. I read this post to hubby and we are both so glad to be reading that your grandson is safe and nothing bad happened to him.

Sandi McBride said...

I'm so thankful that he got home safe, and yet I'm so proud of him for remembering his lessons about strangers...and having his wits about him, too! I hope this person is caught and soon! Please keep us posted on that part of it Jeni...

Anonymous said...

I am so, so happy your grandson made it home safely!! And kudos to him for remembering details!! How absolutely terrifying... My lit'l sister almost got taken from right at the end of our driveway when she was 5 yrs. old.. I will never forget that...
Please do keep us posted as to whether or not that guy gets caught!

Marguerite said...

Wow, Jeni, I can understand why you were so upset. I am so thankful that your grandson got home safely. These creeps are out there and it is very important to teach our children and grandchildren how to handle such a situation. Hope they catch this guy!

Linda said...

Just goes to show that sometimes when we're telling our children things, they really are listening and actually remembering what we told them. Good for your grandson for not only keeping a cool head but in remembering details that would be helpful in tracking this scuz-bucket down. It's so sad that there are people out there who prey on children like this and think they can get away with it.

I hope the authorities catch up to this guy before he comes across a child who is not as cool, calm, and collected as your grandson.

dr sardonicus said...

Happy to hear your grandson used good wits, great thinking, and a good eye for detail.

If you go to my facebook and look at my notes I posted a story about a cop that pretended to be a tween boy and contacted a tweenie and went to her house and then discussed how he found her with her and the family.

YOU have to be careful in this day and age!

ps this is Jenn, Doc is logged on doing something but in bathroom... stealing a minute of puter time.

... Paige said...

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I am so glad your grandson is okay.

this is something that has always scared me even as a little kid.

Skittles said...

Hugs to your grandson.

Speaking of good things.. you won the caption contest. Come see your prize. :)