Stranger Danger at 14

Some weeks ago my daughter called me at work telling me there were two men knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell constantly. I told her it was probably people soliciting. A few minutes later, I get another call from my daughter, whispering, “Mom, there are two guys in the house. I can hear them walking around in the house.” I told her she must me mistaken because we have an alarm set in the house and it would have gone off.

Needless to say I was so wrong. The terror in her voice was one you hear and see in movies. Denial is the first emotion I felt because, this cannot be happening is what I thought. I told her to hide in her closet and call 911.

As she went to go see if the alarm was on, the robbers saw her and took off out of the house.  My daughter ran to her room and hid in the closet with the 911 operator on the phone with her until the police came.

I frantically called my husband who works 7 minutes away and told him that someone broke into the house with Olivia home. He took off and I took off for a 45 minute commute from Miami. Let me say, it was a long ride home. Helpless is the best word to describe how I felt and terrified for my daughter and her ordeal. I had no idea what I was coming home to. I did not let my mind think the worst.

I called my husband and asked how Olivia was doing. She was fine. The robbers did not take anything, he said.  They smashed a window and ransacked our bedroom. As I pulled up to the house, all I wanted to do was hold my daughter tight and protect her from this world, but I knew that wasn’t realistic.

As I entered finding a forensics team and police officers, I got to my daughter and hugged her and asked her if she was okay? She seemed perfectly fine! I was shocked. Was she in shock or did she not like the attention? I did not want her to know or sense that I was scared for her because clearly she was not.

The police mentioned to my husband and I that they reason the robbers left was because of our daughter. They also mentioned how  great she conducted herself and handled the whole situation. It was because of her that they did not rob us. It was at this point that I realized how proud I was of my daughter and that maybe this teen who doesn’t like mom to shop at Hollister with her, just may be growing up.

My husband mentioned to me later that night how proud he, too, was of her and that all the years of teaching our kids about “stranger danger” and what to do had paid off.

The incident was something I will never forget and do not wish on any parent, however, I will always remember how brave my daughter was that day.

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