When I was a little girl I would dream of living in the Prairie age. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and all the books that she wrote. True, their lives were hard and often times filled with turmoil. Many problems arose in their time that we do not have to deal with today. But to me as a small child, it seemed almost magical.
Now, fast forward 20 years and the adult me sometimes fantasizes about living in those times again, but for a very different reason.
Sure, it was difficult and the life expectancy was nowhere near what it is today. We have modern-day conviences that people living in those days would only dream about. But still, sometimes, I close my eyes and imagine how life would be for me and my family in the 1800s. SImply because the world we live in today is so cruel, depraved, and so many people lack human decency that it makes me physically ill simply thinking about it.
Now before you start saying the world has always been a cruel place, I know, it truly has. I am not sure if it’s more apparent to me because I’m older and have children. Or if it is true that people are simply more depraved than they were when our grandparents were children. Whatever the case is, we can all agree that raising a family today is different from 40-50 years ago or even 20 years ago.
When I started dating my husband he would make fun of me because I am a natural “people watcher”. I have an inherent desire and need to be completely aware of my surroundings where ever I go. It is not because I’m a judgy or even nosy person. When I am people watching I am not judging individual people or trying to figure out their whole life story. I am making myself aware of my surroundings to see if anyone is acting shady or odd. I do this to know if I need to get out of wherever I am asap. There has been times where I have exited a place because someone was acting shady. Now, I know that some people who act oddly may be completely innocent. But I am not willing to put myself or my children in danger. Are you?
I believe that God gives us instinct for a reason. He gives it to us so we know something is up with our surroundings and it allows us to protect ourselves and our family. Don’t ever ignore that instinct. If something or someone seems off to you, pay attention. You may be right.
My people watching skills rubbed off on my husband. A little over a year ago he took our oldest to the carnival. While they were there a strange acting man showed too much interest in our daughter. He got to close to her and he asked what her name was, which my husband ignored, and so did B. He asked a few times I believe. Every time he was met with complete silence. After getting a pretty good look at the man my husband was able to lose him among the crowd and come home. He came home immediately and told me about him. A few days later I noticed a strange man walking past our house several times in one day. I had never seen him before and my mommy radar immediately went up. I told my husband about him and the next day he kept his eyes out. Sure enough the strange man walked by our house and because my husband had gotten a good look at the man from the carnival he was able to identify the man walking past our house as that same man.
This man walked by our house several times a day for about a month. He tried to engage me in conversation to which I ignored and quickly packed up my girls and went inside. He also tried to speak to my husband a few times. I was aware of my surroundings every time I went outside with my children. I also always made sure to have my dog outside with us. Now, you may be thinking this man could have been completely innocent and we were making a snap judgement about him. You’re right, he could have been. But it wasn’t a snap judgement, my mommy radar was going off every time he walked by. I just knew something was off. We had made plans to build a fence around our yard that summer and decided to speed up the process. Once our fence was up we noticed this man stopped walking by as often. Then one day he completely stopped.
Recently my husband was speaking to someone who knew of this man and also knew he had been arrested for “perverted” activity. What that activity was I do not know, though I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find out. Which just confirmed that my instincts about this man were right.
I say all of that to tell you this. We no longer live in the same time that our grandparents did. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking we do or let anyone else fool you into thinking that as well. There are so many stories of shady and depraved people every time you turn on the news. Most of the time these people go after the vulnerable. Children, elderly, and women.
So it is always a good idea to make sure your family is safe.
Figure out what that means for your family. Teach your children about tricky people, I read a wonderful article about that term, I will link here. Teach them how to stay safe.
And Always, I repeat, Always, trust your gut instinct about a person and a situation.
You have it for a reason.
Until next time,