In light of the recent tragic death of Autumn Pasquale, I am left wondering...what are parents to do?
This post doesn't contain advice. At all. It is full of worry and disbelief and questions.
Truly, what are we supposed to do as parents to keep our children safe? Because I really don't know. Do we hover over them and never let them out of our sight until adulthood? And even at that point, are they safe? Do we give them freedom and independence and hope for the best? Do we trust that they make the right choices and do we have faith that they choose to trust the right people?
The cold hard truth is that this is a dangerous world in which we live. Every single day I read or hear about some kind of senseless tragedy. A shooting at a mall or place of business, an abduction, and even worse, a murder. You just never know.
I can't begin to fathom what Autumn's parents are going through. I have three daughters. Three daughters that will grow up and want to ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Three daughters that will want to go hang out with friends, without me being there to watch over them. Three daughters that will want to go to the mall or to the movies one day, completely unsupervised. This scares the crap out of me.
What will I do? Will I let them go? Will I say no?
When I was 12 years old, I can say with 100% certainty that I rode my bike all the time without parental supervision. Not only did my friends and I ride our bikes in the neighborhood, we rode them across a highway to the 5&10 to get candy. And we rode them to other friends' houses. We took the bus to the mall. We had bake sales on the street corner and talked to many random strangers. We were not afraid.
And I am not saying that these tragedies didn't occur back then because they did. But times were different.
Now? Well, now I am just scared and worried. It's hard being a parent these days. How do we keep our children safe?
Again, I honestly don't know the answer. I wish I did.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Autumn Pasquale.