I came across a video someone posted on Facebook of standup comedian Sebastian Maniscalco riffing about someone ringing your doorbell.
I giggled a few times, and then started worrying about how things have changed.
Sebastian jokes about how 20 years ago when someone rang the bell everyone in the house rushed to the door to see who the visitor was, welcoming him in, offering up some Sanka. Now, when the doorbell rings we hide, army-crawling on the floor, making sure no one sees any movement.
I can relate. If we aren’t expecting company and the doorbell rings, chances are someone is selling something, and I don’t want to mess with a rejection speech. A few years ago in my dad’s neighborhood someone answered the door and got shot in the face and robbed.
I’m surprised door-to-door salesmen are still around.
It’s bad enough when we are all home. But what if my son is home alone and the doorbell rings?
In a few years he’ll start middle school, where no after-school care is offered. I know plenty of parents have faced this for years, but it’s just now dawning on me: If you can’t be there to pick up your kids — at some schools as early as 2 p.m. — they must ride the bus home. And if no one is home, they stay there alone until someone arrives.
I’m uncomfortable with this. It scares me.
Maybe I can leave work early on some days. Perhaps Nana can pick up our son. Or maybe a neighborhood kid will have a parent who stays home who could keep an eye on him until we get off work.
No wonder the majority of parents equip their children with cellphones.
Last week, two people driving an ice cream truck in a quiet suburban Kansas City neighborhood offered a 4-year-old free ice cream, then attempted to grab the little girl, her mother said.
Luckily the mom ran outside after the girl’s brother came in to say someone was offering something for free. The people in the ice cream truck were charged with operating a business without a license.
Even though middle-schoolers are learning how to care for themselves and be individuals, they are still young and still very vulnerable.
On the way to school I told our son about the ice cream truck incident.
“Don’t take anything from strangers, especially anything free.”
“I know, Mom.”
“You just need to watch your back. Be aware of your surroundings and follow your gut.”
“You don’t have to tell me this every day, Mom.”
Yes, yes I do.
Eventually I’ll need to cut the cord, but not at 10 years old, or even 12.
On a side note, I wish Sebastian Maniscalco would come to KC. We could use a laugh.