Tuesday, August 03, 2010


A few days ago I was leaving the house with the girls.

I pulled the car out the driveway and noticed, from the corner of my eye, a man leaning against my neighbour's wall kind of diagonally across the road from our house.
He was well-dressed, mustached, sober (looking) but yet there was something just not right about him ...

He wasn't close enough to either my neighbour or the next house's gate to necessarily be waiting for someone from either of those houses.
He wasn't relaxed enough to be killing time or alert enough to be expecting someone.
He wasn't looking at me but was definitely watching.

I got out the car to close our gate and he started walking away from us down the road, but he turned to look back twice. I felt uneasy. He turned the corner and disappeared.

Just then a police patrol car came towards me from the opposite direction. I know by now to trust my gut, so flagged them down and told them what I'd seen. They thanked me, said they'd drive past him, and I got back in my car feeling a little alarmist but more secure.

'Who were you talking to Mum?' asks Frieda from the back seat. My car had been facing away from the cop van, she couldn't comfortably turn around while strapped into her car seat.
'Those policemen.' I answered.
'The policemen who look out for bad people Mum?'
Hesitantly, 'Yes.' (Who's told her that I wonder?)
'Bad people like that man in the black & white shirt Mum?'
'Which man?' (Surely she's not saying what I think she's saying?)
'That man who was on the pavement over there.'

I'd said nothing. I'd not gestured in the man's direction while talking to the police. She'd not even been able to see that conversation.
What she knew of that man she'd possibly gathered from my body language, and more likely from her own intuition.

I hate that my daughter must already know that there are bad people in this world. But I love that she's already developing a gut instinct. Unfortunately she's going to need it.

1 comment:

krista said...

oh, man. this chilled me to the core. i love how children never question their intuition. and i'm so happy you trusted yours.