One day last week, Sasha and I got a ride home from her preschool, thanks to one of the other fathers, the Shanghai-born father of Sasha’s classmate Caterina. While it was very nice not to have to brave the subway that day, it was surprising to hear the reason the other dad gave for driving into Manhattan from Brooklyn every day and parking at a not-inexpensive lot: kidnapping.
Or rather, the fear of kidnapping. But not his fear—it was his parents, both from Shanghai, who worried that Caterina might be snatched away on the F train home. Because, of course, that kind of thing happens all the time.
In the movies.
I’ve written here before about all the many reasons parents should just chill out about such things, but today I happened on an NPR story listing the top 5 things parents shouldn’t worry about. Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers, and drugs are pointless wastes of your anxious brainpower, people!
But the article doesn’t stop there. No, it goes on to list the ways most children die—i.e., the things we should worry about:
- Car accidents
- Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
So, hm. This isn’t good. In the past month, I’ve taken Sasha in a car (the Shanghai dad’s!) without a carseat, brought her to an un-lifeguarded lake, let her play with dangly necklaces and long computer cables, and maybe even slapped her (lightly) on the wrist when she was being naughty.
But at least she hasn’t spent any time lately with our murderous ‘wagoneer Nathan, a.k.a. “a person who knows the child.” See Sasha? Daddy loves you!