One evening as I was lounging around doing some channel surfing, I happened to catch the movie Minority Report on TV.
The scene playing was the one when Tom Cruise’s character, John Anderton, was grieving over his son who was abducted several years ago at six-years-old.
|John Anderton’s son’s abduction scene from Minority Report|
It was a chilling scene to watch. It starts out with Anderton sharing a happy moment with his son at a public swimming pool. He playfully ducked his head underwater to show his boy how long he could hold his breath. He was only under the water a few moments but when he popped his head up, his son had disappeared. The scene ends tragically with Anderton running frantically through the crowd, shouting and screaming his son’s name.
It’s one of the worst nightmares a parent could ever have. In a way it can be worse than witnessing your child die before your eyes.
“Missing” leaves an open wound with no sense of closure. There is a poison in that wound that prevents it from healing completely, as you continually hover between hope and despair.
Imagine losing a child to an unknown horror, never knowing what fate has befallen him or her… Torture? Slavery? Hunger? Isolation? Loneliness? Pain? The thoughts are too horrifying to consider.
Before I had children, I used to glance casually past such news of missing children and posters asking “Have you seen this child”. I probably just had passing thought of “Oh, how sad” and went on with my business as usual.
But now that I have kids, I now understand the deep pain and horror of having your child go missing. The thought is too terrifying for me to even consider that I immediately push away any painful images of any such possibility of this happening to my own babies.
My mum recently told me this chilling true story which happened back in my hometown:
A mother and her little girl (not much older than Nathan probably is now) were shopping in a local supermarket (Servay in Penampang for the KK locals). The mother happened to turn her head for a moment to reach for an item on a shelf. When she turned back, her little girl had disappeared. She started screaming frantically for help. Thankfully the supermarket staff were swift to respond and immediately locked down the entrances to prevent anyone from exiting and began searching the premises. The little girl was eventually found in the toilet, hair shorn, dressed in boys’ clothing –drugged. There was no sign of the kidnapper who must have bolted from the scene.
The story is too close to home. I shiver inside every time I think about it. This lollipop bait video reinforced the point even deeper for me:
|“A moment of neglect, a lifetime of regret”|
I’ve started thinking about having the ‘stranger danger’ talk with our 3 y.o. Nathan. He is so friendly with everyone (sometimes too friendly actually) that a lollipop bait like this could definitely easily lure him away. But knowing this, we always try to be extra vigilant in keeping our hawk eyes on him whenever we’re out and about.
|Hold tight to those little hands|
Maybe it’s about time we start teaching him about the difference between strangers and people we know. Though, I don’t want to scare him and transfer my paranoid parental fears onto him.
Have you had the ‘stranger danger’ talk with your kids? How old were they and how did you go about it?
Linking up to the IBOT party