Today I went to the park with my little sister. When we got to the entrance I saw some kids I recognized from shul playing outside in the dirt by the street. So I went over to the kid and started talking to him. There didn’t seem to be any adults with him, so I asked him if he came with his parents, he didn’t answer.
Meanwhile, there were 2 other kids I didn’t know there, and they started talking to me. One was telling me a story of how a few days ago a person went into a store and shot the store owner and then a helicopter came with police man. Then his sister asked me what my name was. I told her my name and asked her what her name was, she told me her name. Then I asked her what her last name was, wondering if I perhaps have heard of it before, she said it in a low voice, so I asked her again, but then it wasn’t clear.
So then I was talking to the kids I knew from my shul and I mentioned how his father did a great job davening for Yom Kippur, and he said “yea, my father davens for the amud”. Then this man comes over, and he comes to the 2 kids I didn’t know and tells them to come back into the park. All the kids go back in, so as I was going back into the park, I saw the father of the kids bring over his son and tell him that he’s not allowed to talk to strangers.
I found the whole thing ridiculous, I never considered myself a “stranger” before. Plus he wasn’t watching his kids, so he should be thankful to me for watching them, making sure that they didn’t go in the street and that they were supervised. But then I thought, perhaps he is right, his kids didn’t know me, so they really shouldn’t have told me so much information. I mean what if I hadn’t been a good person.
I always wondered if the kids differentiate between Jewish people or not, do they know to trust me because they could tell I’m a frum girl? or would they just trust anyone? Or is everyone they don’t know considered to be a stranger? but then how do you ever get to know anyone if you can’t ever talk to them?
But I do suppose the kids aren’t being trained enough not to talk to strangers. The other day I was walking home and I saw this little kid outside crying. I asked her “what’s the matter?” and she just continued crying. Then she cried out “mommy” so I asked her where her Mommy is, and she said she’s in the house. So I asked her if her Mommy knew that she was outside, and she said “yes”. So I figured I would wait outside, just to make sure someone comes out for her. So I was waiting there, then she calmed down from crying. Then after a few minutes she just went into her house. Then a different day I pass down the block and again I see her outside by herself, and she went into a different house while holding a Sippy cup, so she couldn’t be more than 3 years old. That seemed like a young age to have a kid alone outside.