Childhood's End...


When my daughter was a child, one of my biggest fears was that she would be abducted.  I was a single mom, and trying to juggle full-time work with being a full-time mother, and along with that I had a lot of concern that I wasn't doing any of it right.  And at the time there had been a rash of abductions, including one of a little girl named Abby Drover who was abducted by a neighbour and held in an underground bunker for 181 days.  She was discovered by accident, when the abductor's wife found him emerging from a pit underneath the family garage. The wife was shocked when an emaciated girl scrambled out behind him, trying to make her escape.

The stuff of nightmares.

What makes these monsters do these things?  Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Knight, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Lee Dugard -- all abducted, and all fortunate to have been found, even as much as almost two decades later.

Children have had their childhoods robbed of them because of these fiends.  Parents have turned into helicopter parents.  I know, I did.  My daughter's childhood was quite different from mine.  When I was a child, we heard horror stories of a kid getting lockjaw from stepping on a rusty nail, or contracting rabies from being bitten by a rabid dog -- none of them true of course -- but they were the horror stories of our childhood.  The bogeyman was a figment of our imagination.  Now he is very real, and he climbs into children's windows and takes them from their beds at night, or -- like Michael Dunahee -- snatches them from playgrounds when their parents have looked away for just a moment.

Just a brief nanosecond.

How do we keep children safe from predators?  I hope those three men in Ohio who abducted the girls and held them captive, never see the light of day again.  In a civilized society, we can't keep them locked in fetid dungeons the way they kept their prey.  Too bad.

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