“I know your mom.”

Four words my kids have heard on so many occasions.

It happens when you live a public life…in a glass fishbowl so-to-speak.  But it hit me…what if the wrong person said, “I know your mom.”

Maybe I’ve watched too many Dateline episodes…or maybe working in the news business for the majority of my life has me on heightened alert all of the time.  Unfortunately, I am skeptical of many things. It’s my wall that I put up…the wall that protects my children.

I sat on my front porch one morning in deep thought.  I wondered…what if someone said to one of my kiddos, “Hey…you can come with me…I know your mom! Her name is Amanda…it’s ok!” “I know how much you love to play in the pool…your mom told me it’s okay for me to take you here.”  “Wait until you see that puppy in my car…your mom told me you love puppies!”

So over chocolate chip waffles and milk one morning, we had talk…another reminder session.  And we came up with a new safety word. It’s a long, obnoxious word that only our family knows…and we will let our closest friends know.  You see, it doesn’t matter if they’re told, “I know your mom really well!” or “I work with your Daddy!”  If you don’t know the family password, the conversation stops.

I had an acquaintance of mine tell me recently, “Some of the stuff you blog about…you know the safety of your kids…that’s like being a helicopter mom.” Nope. Helicopter moms try to control every situation for their child…don’t want them to fail so every fall is cushioned.  I’m a mama bear. My goal is to protect my children at all costs. Big difference.

Be gracious.  Be kind.  But don’t be naïve.

And mommas…don’t ever be ashamed of keeping those claws out.