I have always tried to be very conscious of my surroundings -- walk tall, confident, look all around you, and keep mental tabs on people in parking lots near you. Especially when your kids are with you, making eye contact with strangers and offering a smile can help make sure people know you are aware that they're there. But I've always felt so vulnerable when buckling my kids into their car seats, knowing I can't see what's going on around me.
The story of missing 20-year-old single mom Krista Dittmeyer now has me feeling especially scared again. Dittmeyer is missing, her 14-month-old daughter was found alone in the car, the engine was running, hazards flashing, driver's door open ...
Dittmeyer is originally from Portland, Maine, but had driven to Cranmore Mountain recreational center in Conway, New Hampshire. At 6:30 a.m., police responded to a phone call about her abandoned Nissan Sentra, and found her daughter, Aliyah, fortunately totally fine, though I imagine probably pretty scared, and is now with family.
Dittmeyer's mom says she talked to her daughter the night before and everything seemed fine, and her daughter would "never, ever, ever" leave her baby alone in the car. They even think that if there were a captive situation, Dittmeyer likely convinced the captor to leave her daughter to spare her (maybe that's why the hazards were on?). It's the thing of nightmares for moms, and makes having my back turned towards the parking lot that much more vulnerable when I'm climbing into my car to buckle kids up. How terrifying.
I think most moms would make the same choice, don't you? I really hope that wherever Dittmeyer is, she's okay and that she'll be home to her baby soon. And now I'm going to go back to having the baggers help me with my groceries to my car every single time so they're loading them while I buckle my kids in. Come home soon, Krista.
Are you worried about being vulnerable while out with your kids?
Image via Gamma-Ray Productions/Flickr