Shaken, Not Stirred

I don't usually blog about my personal life in this space, mainly because I assume that no one cares, but I wanted to share something and this seemed like the space to do it.

I messed up yesterday (This is no news flash, I mess up a lot).

At our swim meet, my husband and I were hanging out in Tent City where all the parents sit and pass the five or six hours that a swim meet generally takes in a position much closer to the parking lot than the pool when this guy showed up:

okay, not this actual guy, but a similar guy.
No joke.  We sat and watched as a man in a grim reaper costume with his face fully covered by a mask walked towards the other team's tent city.  In my head I wanted to get up and say something, but then a woman got in front of him and took a picture, so I decided that maybe it was a joke or something and I didn't move from my chair.  I didn't feel great about that decision, but I did it anyway.

A few minutes later, when the first police car showed up, my stomach dropped.  I hopped up to find my kid, but luckily he was already on his way towards me.  Frequently at swim meets your children aren't with you- either they're checking in a few events before they swim and they're waiting in a corral or they're off in another tent playing with friends.

**Nobody gets hurt in this story**

I wasn't sure at the time what had happened, but when I got an email today that the grim reaper made it all the way down to clerk of course (where children go to check in before their events and wait for their turn to swim) I realized what an idiot I was.  I try not to be the type of parent that assumes that everyone is out to hurt my children, and, in fact, this guy had showed up to prank his brother in law on his birthday, but what if it wasn't a joke? Coming off of the tragedy in Colorado this week, it shook me to the core to realize that at least 100 parents had to see this guy and assume he was safe enough to let him right up to where our children were.  I don't know fully what happened that the police had to become involved, but I do know that I wish I'd stood up and assumed it wasn't a harmless joke.

I'm not usually a helicopter parent, but I'm shaken enough by knowing just where this guy ended up to realize that maybe I need to put a little more flight plan into my daily life.

What would you have done if you saw the grim reaper heading into a swim meet? 


  1. I can relate. I'd love to think I would react and I am known as the "overprotective" Mom and I'm good with that. But I can see myself questioning if I should do something. I probably would have gone to my child first and then if the guy was still lurking would try to ask if anyone knew who he was why he was there in si h a scary costume seeing how it was not Halloween. But please know it is easy to say " I would have done this or that" but unless you are in the situation at the time no one knows for sure. You did what you felt was right and that is fine!! I'm glad all worked out.

  2. Hard to say because now we all have the time to think and find a good reasonable answer. No matter what everyone will tell you... Know that you did what you thought at the time that was the right thing to do. I tend to be a little over over protective ( and that was not a typo) so I would have probably got closer to my kids... Maybe ... Like I said, it is easy to come up now with a good answer.

  3. I'm certainly not a helicopter by any stretch. It is unusual for something like this to happen, but nothing i would have freaked out about. I would have kept my eye on him though and others around me to get a sense of what's going on.

  4. What would I have done when I saw him? I would have laughed and waited to see how the obvious practical joke played out. But of course, I'm not like most people. Most people apparently prefer to live in fear, and report anything that is not, in their esteemed judgement, "Normal" to the police.

  5. I'm assuming that something happened to warrant the call to the police. That's really what upset me more is that something must have happened- if it was just a joke i guessed the police never would have shown up. Who knows.