Anyone with children will tell you that keeping their kids safe is the top priority. No matter how many "stranger danger" lessons we teach them, it's still hard to put away the nagging fear at the back of our minds that they might not always be in the safest situations.
One mom, however, found out that a lesson she had taught her children years before came into play in a harrowing situation.
When Jodie Norton rushed into the hospital for what would later be diagnosed as a ruptured ovarian cyst, a neighbor offered to pick up her sons and drive them to school. When Nortin agreed, she hadn't realized that the neighbor was actually a 40-minute drive away, and sent them to wait for him on a bench near the entrance to the ER waiting room.
“It wasn’t until my boys came home from school at 3:30pm, that I found out they had been waaaay late to school,” Norton wrote on her blog Time Well Spent.
During those 40 minutes, she wrote, "they were approached by an adult female and two punk males who asked them if they’d 'help them out by going into the bathroom where her boyfriend was hiding from the doctor and see if they could convince him to come out and get treated.'"
Every time her boys said no, she wrote, the strangers only pushed further.
"Please? You could really save his life if you’d just go in that bathroom and tell him it’s safe to come out," her sons recalled.
The strangers finally relented just before the neighbor arrived to pick up the boys, and that's when they saw the "sick boyfriend" come out of the bathroom and get into a car with the other three and drive off.
Norton wrote that thanks to a safety rule that she taught them earlier, they were able to stay safe. She had gotten the tip, she wrote, from the website Safely Ever After: an adult will ask another adult if they really need help, not a child.
"Mom, I knew they were tricky people because they were asking us for help," her son CJ told her. "Adults don’t ask kids for help."
Having your kids taken away is every parent's greatest nightmare, but Norton is convinced that this "tricky people" rule saved her children from being abducted.