06 April 2010
Hidden Danger Or Stupid Mistake?
Of course with her having friends, comes new territory for me. I'm new to the "parent" scene. I think there's an entire protocol I'm still trying to catch on to. I'm figuring out the nuances of calling other parents, making sure kids don't run amok at our home and the mess that is logistics (how is so-and-so getting to/from our house? who is bringing you home? do I pick you up?).
Because my niece is an only child, I cherish the time she gets to spend with other kids. Social adaptation and assimilation is critical to a child's development. So I encourage it. Sleepovers, on the other hand are maybe not so necessary? Truth be told I kind of dread them. Because of my niece's history, I will only allow her to have sleepovers at our home, which means no sleep for me. I'm probably being over protective, but I rather err on the side of caution.
Recently she invited a friend to come sleep over, and the friend's mother called me to decline the offer. Her only words were to the affect that she didn't let her child go on sleep overs because due to an issue with her husband, she would never be able to reciprocate, and that wouldn't be fair. I appreciated the honesty and set the conversation aside.
My curiosity, however, was piqued. I've met this friend's parents, and they are genuinely nice people. I've watched their children, and the kids are equally good-natured. But what is up with the husband? The thought hung in the back of my mind. After a week, I got up the nerve to take a look at the Utah Registered Sex Offenders website. I think I had been putting it off, knowing what I would find.
And there it was. The father of my child's friend was right there on the Sex Offenders list, photo and all. OK, I don't want to rush to judgment. I read through his profile. The incident dated 2001, and was limited to a single instance of indecent exposure.
Now I question: is this man some devious villain, a lurking danger? Or is he a man who did something foolish nearly 10 years ago (he would have been abt 22 at the time)? How do you decide? I'm not sure how I feel about this. Above all, I want to protect my child. What is a parent to do in this situation? For now, I make sure both parents are home if my child is at their house, or simply invite their daughter to play at our home.
Dear (few) readers, what do you think? Please comment and let me know your thoughts, how you would act. I'm in need of direction on this one. What are the boundaries of repentance and change? This man is religious (active LDS) and he and his wife are cautious (no sleepovers). Am I overreacting, or should red flags be going up?