I think the man thought it was innocent enough. He loved birds and loved to take pictures of them. We live on the property our church owns, which houses about 110 trees, mostly oak, but some crab apple and a few maples and several evergreens. So, we have a lot of birds and this man used to stop his van along our property to take pictures of the birds. But, I didn't know he was just taking pictures of the birds and my boys were out sledding and this man stopped his van right near the small "hill" where my boys were sledding. I had no idea who he was, what he wanted, etc., so when I saw him stopped there, so close to my boys, then saw him talking to them, I donned my coat, boots and gloves and walked over.
I approached his van and introduced myself. Immediately, the man was defensive. I'd said, "Hi! My name is Tricia. I'm their mom." (pointing to my boys)
He said, "So?"
I said, "Well, I see that you've stopped near where they are sledding, so I thought it best to come introduce myself and find out what you need here."
He said, "I'm just taking pictures of the birds. I'm not going to hurt your boys."
"Well," I said, "I like to know people who are talking to my boys."
With that, he reiterated that he was not going to "hurt" my boys, but only wanted pictures of the birds. He then drove off. He started coming less and less, I kept a close eye at all times, wrote down his license plate number and warned my boys about talking to him. They complied. He no longer stops to take pictures.
The message is loud and clear: If someone wants access to my kids, they have to go through me. If someone will not speak to me or talk decently to me, they do not get to talk to my kids.
My word. You would not believe how often I have to act on this principle. My job as their mom is to ensure their safety. I do not believe my boys are emotionally, physically or spiritually safe around people who will not talk to their mom. Period. There are people who will not speak to me but actively try to talk to my kids. Not gonna happen. I will do whatever I can to protect my kids from such people, no secrets about it, no apologies given.