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Crazy…or cautious?

Recently, I took the kids to the indoor community pool.  I wonder now if I am rightly cautious or just plain crazy because of what happened when we were about to leave.

When we got there the pool was filled with people. Lots of kids, some really fit swimmers in the lap lanes, and some families swimming and playing with their little ones just like me. I had my daughter who is the oldest, and my two youngest sons with me. The youngest are ages 5 and 7. Swimming was just what we needed to burn off some energy after a hot day.

Notably, there were a couple of people in the water that I can only describe as lurkers. Not really swimming, one in particular caught my attention as he leaned against the shallow-end wall and very nicely kept returning the balls that my kids would inevitably knock into the lap lanes as we played. I couldn’t be sure why it bothered me that he wasn’t actually swimming in the lap lanes. Or not often moving along to any other part of the pool. But, it did.

As the dolphins and mermaids that my kids become when we get into any pool, we were the last ones out when the whistle blew signaling time to go. Well, almost the last ones. That one man, who was so helpful in returning the balls, appeared to wait until we all got out before he did. He dawdled outside the locker room door. And then it hit me – I would have to send my little boys into the appropriate changing room, without me or anyone else except that man. All the older boys had left already.

No way, I thought. Crazy or cautious, I would not send them in there alone with an adult male. I made them wait outside the door where I could see them and sidled up to the lifeguard. She was talking to someone else, but I slipped into the conversation that I was making my sons wait until the changing room was all clear because I wasn’t comfortable sending them in there alone with a stranger.

Here’s the thing. I don’t think she found me crazy at all. She encouraged me to go get changed while they stayed in the pool area with her. She said as soon as all the other females were finished, I could just take the boys in with me. In the end, my little guys helped her clean up the pool toys and I had some peace of mind that nothing could happen to the boys.

So am I crazy? Or just cautious? Would it have occurred to me to be that concerned in a pre-Sandusky world?  Is it too cautious to view a man who showed some random kindness to a family of strangers as a potential danger?

With all that said, I’d react and do the exact, same thing again. I have to wonder though – is there anyone else out there who’s upped their vigilance for their kids safety lately?

Simply Put – Cautious or crazy, I’ll err on the side of my children’s safety any day.

  1. August 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Definitely not crazy! I feel like when we get gut instincts like this we need to go with it. A lot of the elementary school-age girls on our street run around all day in their swimsuits. I get it, because I did that when I was their age but we lived in the country and any neighbors we had we knew them really really well. There are a lot of apartments on our street and I have no idea who some of our neighbors are. Neither of our girls is allowed to be outside in their swimsuit like that unless we are all outside as a family playing in the sprinkler or something like that. You just never know who might be watching.

    • August 20, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      Laurie, it is definitely a different world now. When I was younger, I’d walk around my little town with my best friend. By the time we got where we were going (usually to the park or the little corner store), at least two “church ladies” would have called my mom or dad to ask if they knew I was out roaming around town.
      I rely a lot on my gut instincts, and that evening in the pool, enough warning signs went off that, like you said, I had to go with it.

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