My kids do not read my blog, as I wouldn't be posting this if they did. I hope years from now, when everything has calmed down, they will better understand what was going on in our neighborhood. I hope they understand why we kept them inside most of the evening and why we had to talk with them about staying away from a specific area of our neighborhood. We came up with a good cover-story, but I don't know if it will stick. Kids are smart - very smart. They are not prepared for the truth, as no kid should have to be told the things we would need to tell them. They have never heard of the Boogeyman, but if they did, he would have a name and an address.
Last week, a police detective came to my front door. My kids were playing in the front yard with their nanny, enjoying the last few days of freedom before school started. I met the detective in my kitchen. He had a manila folder and he explained to my wife and I that someone had taken pictures of children in our neighborhod and was posting them online. I went numb. My kids were not in the pictures the detective showed us. But it didn't matter. This was our neighborhood and the safety we had felt as parents was gone in an instant.
The last few days have been horrible. My street, usually filled with kids riding their bikes or playing in their yards, is eerily quiet. The front doors are shut and the kids are inside. After the kids are safe in bed at night, the parents will meet at the ends of their driveways to talk. The tension is so high in the neighboorhood. Everyone is waiting for the next bad thing to happen. We all fear it is only a matter of time.
Yesterday was spent canvassing the neighborhood, collecting names and e-mail addresses so the parents can stay in contact and we can all share information and support each other. Over the last few days, the parents have been telling stories about past incidents. After hearing the stories, I have a strong opinon on what is living in my neighborhood. I don't know who said it first, but everyone agrees with the description.
I've seen mothers cry and heard fathers yell. Nobody should have to live like this. But for the first time in my life, I am really afraid.