For the past two weeks, my 8-year old son George has really shown he is growing up. Proudly he announced that rather than having Mom drive him to school and pick him up every day, he would start to ride the city bus back and forth. We got him a pass, helped him the first few days, and were pleasantly surprised that he could do it on his own. Great help for Mom, and proof positive that he was becoming more mature and able to take on a bit more responsibility.
However, the other day he had a "slight error in judgement"...
He knew he had to be at second grade a little early to give a short presentation to the class on the weather (their current focus topic). He left our house 10 minutes early and waited at the bus stop for his bus to come. During that time a man pulled up in a Mercedes and asked him if he wanted a ride to school. Thinking he could get there quicker and easier than waiting for the bus, he accepted...
My wife found out about it later that night after he had come home. In his mind perhaps he knew he had put himself at risk...he said "Mom, I think I might have done something wrong..."
He explained about the man - her jaw dropped. Without him admitting it, he could have just...disappeared...without either of us knowing.
I got home late that night after the kids had already gone to bed, and she told me what he had done. She had been crying off and on since George told her he had taken a stranger's car ride to school. They had a massive shouting match and it was very emotional for both of them.
For me it was like being stabbed in the heart.
I felt sick to my stomach; I felt dizzy...I couldn't breathe...
Then the rage hit me like a wave of electricity...
I WOULD FIND THAT GUY AND I WOULD KILL HIM.
At the very least I would beat him senseless and take him to the police, where hopefully he would be hung, shot, or dropped into a dark hole for all eternity. No normal adult has any justifiable reason for offering a ride to an 8-year old boy on his way to school. It is the classic ruse of a predator. George said "he told me he was a good guy, not a bad guy...", of course not fully grasping the fact that bad guys hardly announce the fact up front to their victims before they torture and kill them.
Just last week the news in Japan featured a story about a university student found dismembered after going missing. There are many of these cases even in Japan every year.
Japan's bizzare sexually-repressed powderkeg society creates a lot of pressure which ends up making some very, very sick people who are more than capable of causing unspeakable harm to a little boy. You can drive yourself crazy worrying...
How can you protect them all the time? It only takes one "slight error in judgement" for them to be the next kid on the milk carton; the next statistic. As a parent, you want to encourage your children to be independent, but to have enough sense to know and avoid big risks. I am at a loss as to how to handle this. My first reaction was to home school him for the next 10 years and never let him out of the house on his own again...yes, I know it's overreacting.
I have never felt more helpless in my whole life than I do now.
Never more vulnerable than facing the knowledge that I cannot protect my family from danger.
I have done my best to provide clear and lucid advice to people on martial arts and other topics in this blog for the past 3 years . I need to call those markers in. Now it's your turn to advise me.
What can I do about this???
Please give me your advice. I need it.