A Call to Action for the Safety of Our Children


He was getting away! That little cutie pie was off and running and getting away! I called lamely, “Stop running,” as his mom chased him into the street, trying to catch up to him.

Seriously, this happened at a soccer game I recently attended. A few seconds later, mama bear caught up to her baby cub and gently scolded him for running away. As she walked back toward the game, I stopped her so I could apologize.

“I am so sorry. I should have gotten in front of him and blocked his way or something.”

At that moment, I couldn’t think of what I should do. It’s impolite to trip that kid or to scold another mother’s child. Or is it?

What if there had been a car going by? What if she hadn’t seen him take off?

I’ve been that mom before . . . with my baby wriggling his hand loose and running off in the Uptown Target parking structure. My heart didn’t slow down for days after that. I wished someone would trip that kid so he would stop. Maybe someone could jump in front of him and scare him so he would turn around and come hide in my arms. But, no, there I was in my black Tom’s wedges, chasing him, screaming, “¿Tu quieres tunas?” and waving my hands wildly in the air.

Luckily, at the mention of getting “tunas,” he stopped running, turned around, and said, “I’m sorry, Mama.”

We had watched Lego Batman recently. That night he quoted a line from the movie to me.

“Mama, do you ever get scared?”

I’m not sure what your stance on sharing your fears with your two-year-old is, but mine came right out of my mouth.

“Yes. I get scared sometimes. I was scared today when you ran away from me in the parking lot. I was scared that a car wouldn’t see you, and you would get squished, and you would die, and I wouldn’t have my baby anymore.”

My blatant honesty must have been a rare occurrence because it caught the attention of the whole house. There it was. My biggest fear. Right out in the open. I fear losing a child. Even writing it here, in this safe space, makes me nervous.

So, I have to think, if that’s how I feel about matters, then why did I stand by and lamely call out to that little guy at the soccer game. As if he would listen to me while he ran away from his yelling mother?

You better believe that next time I see a little one booking it in the opposite direction from Mama Bear, I’m going to pull on my scary football player face and play some zone defense. Safety first! 

No offense, Mamas. I’m on your side when it comes to safety. “It takes a village” to keep our babies safe.

holding hands

Maybe your kids are amazing and don’t run off into the street. But what are some other ways you need help from “the village” to keep your kiddo safe? Speak up! Albuquerque is our city. And we’re all in it together. 

Let’s make it the safest place we can for our kids!

Originally published January 2019

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.