Do you let your kids play at someone’s house you have never met?
Years ago (or was it last week?) one of our kids was invited to play at a friend’s house and we excitedly accepted the invitation and sped over to the house.
Someone else wants to have our kid over to play giving us hours of freedom to sit and stare at the floor? (because that’s what parents do when the kids aren’t around)
We were elated.
We asked on the way over to repeat the name of the child as it wasn’t someone we had heard anything about.
In fact, this was the first mention of this particular friend or wanting to have a play date.
Still, our interest in floor staring outweighed all other options but as we arrived at the host’s home, something didn’t feel right.
It wasn’t any one thing, it was everything.
It was the angry dogs barking as we approached the walk-way. They were hunting us in a pack and their bite looked like it was going to be a lot worse than their bark. One of them growled, (in Kiefer Sutherland’s voice) “Get back in your mini-van….it’s really dirty by the way.”
It was the smell of someone smoking pot lingering in the air and while I didn’t actually see anyone in the act, it felt as though they were walking one pace behind me, just a split-second faster, trailing us while giving the dogs attack commands.
It was the broken glass on the lawn, the torn screens on the windows.
It was the make-shift bomb-shelter and the muffled screaming I could hear trying to escape. (Okay, I made up the part about the screaming but I’m not ready to rule out the possibility).
I know what you’re thinking, potato/patattah, tomato/tomata. (That works so much better when you say it)
Our gut instinct was to make up an excuse and leave which is exactly what we did.
What would you do?