I always believed I had strong intuition. When I became a Mom, it intensified. I could sense things about my kids. I knew before turning around that the baby had a small toy in his mouth. I knew when my son had an ear infection before he had any physical signs. I would force myself to listen to that voice inside, even when it seemed like I was being foolish.
It was a Sunday morning and our family had just finished attending a church service. My husband and I stopped to talk to a member of the church while our two young boys (ages 2 and 4) walked along the lines of the sidewalk inside the church courtyard. I struggled to keep polite eye contact with the church member as I watched my sons wandering farther away from us. They continued to stay within our view and after a few minutes, I noticed a man near them. My older son began to talk with him and I started to feel a bit uneasy. I could not hear the words that were being spoken to me because all I could think about was how my son was talking to a stranger, ignoring all we had taught him about “stranger danger.” Foolishly, I did not want to be rude and break in the middle of the conservation that I was having. The more that they talked, the faster I felt my heart beating. I looked at my husband and he was also keeping a close eye on their interaction.
Finally, I interrupted the man that we were speaking with and asked my husband to go to our children. He walked over and made small talk with the man near our kids. As quickly as he had appeared, the man walked away. I soon said goodbye to the church member and walked with my family out to our car. We reminded our son that he wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers and asked causally and with curiosity what they had been talking about. “Oh, he said that he liked my shirt. He thought we could trade shirts and pants. But I said that mine wouldn’t fit him.”
I know it sounds like an innocent conversation. My mind tells me that it is not a strange thing to say but my heart disagrees. I tried to tell myself the facts. He looked nice enough. He was, after all, at church. He was probably someone’s Grandpa.