This morning as I was heading to the post office on my way to work (it was still slightly dark) I noticed a few things that stuck out in my mind as true signs of how cautious our society has become, and rightfully so.
Several elementary school children were standing on a residential street corner waiting for the school bus to stop and pick them up. Huddled in the middle was a mom, obviously there to make sure that all the youngsters got on to the bus safe and sound.
At least that's what I'm assuming, that since it still wasn't quite light out, the mom might have wanted to make sure the youngsters didn't wander out on the street and get hit by a car passing by, or maybe she didn't want any interference from any unwanted strangers who might offer warmth and refuge until the bus made the stop, or maybe she just wanted to wait and offer up the final good-bye for the day.
I guess as cynical as I've become lately, my thoughts leaned to either of the former, the mom was there to protect the young and ward off any unwelcome forces that might present themselves on a darker-than-usual street, where a bunch of unassuming children waited.
Anyway, at the end of the block peering at the children was another mom, obviously with the same intent in mind, insuring her youngster(s) also were going to be secure on the bus.
No matter why the moms were present, isn't it truly sad that the carefree 'don't have to worry times' that some of us were truly fortunate to be privy to growing up as kids have become a 'thing of the past' and simply no more, at least not the way we knew them?
We might have been told not to talk to or accept candy from a stranger but these weren't everyday instructions drilled into every little nook and cranny of our being like they are nowadays.
You can't turn on the television or access the Internet without hearing and reading about all the ill-contrived attempts against our youth and little ones, all so vulnerable in their inability to fend for themselves.
Every day it is something new and even more disturbing to fathom in terms of the unimaginable misfits and the incomprehensible misdeeds lurking out there.
As parents, grandparents, and family members, who all have adoring children in our lives that we would do anything for, we can relate to parents who 'stand' with their children on the street corner awaiting their ride to school, even in West Fargo, North Dakota, where the air is clean, the people are good, but nothing should ever be taken for granted regarding what could or could not happen.
The morale of the story should always be 'better safe than sorry' - and that was the message I construed those mothers practicing.
You can never be too vigilant or cautious, especially when it comes to the safety and well-being of our little ones.