My sister, who lives in Maryland (where this latest missing child incident took place) has, just days ago, started letting her 6-year-old walk a half block from the school bus stop home. We were city kids ourselves, so the suburbs feel very different to us in terms of the liberties that people ordinarily take with their children. We had no yard, no driveway, no place to really play unattended--but attended nonetheless.
My niece, however, has a different life, one where a short walk in her cul-de-sac is just fine for a child to take. Well wouldn't you know, the week that she starts discovering her brave independence, is the week a little 9-year-old boy goes missing? Where was he seen last? Getting off of the school bus.
He was found today, thank goodness, in some wooded area by his home. It was the morning after his disappearance and, as of now, the story is he got in trouble at school and was simply afraid to go home. Look kid, if you thought you were in trouble before...!
Anywho, I guess my larger point is this: we live in a scary world, we know this, but perhaps we should continue to function as though we don't. When my sis first told me about my niece's new adventure, I wanted to shout, "Are you crazy?!" But I'm glad I didn't. Baby girl (and every other child) deserves to discover this world--and their place in it--with as little fear as possible.
Do you live in constant fear of child abduction, or are you somehow able to keep those fears in perspective?