Colorado Moms

October 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Ten years old. Ten years old is a gap-toothed, not quite teenager but not quite little kid, age. In between, right on the edge of both, ten is that age where we start letting our kids spread their wings a little. Jessica Ridgeway, a ten year old girl, disappeared on Friday morning, three blocks from her elementary school. Her mom watched her walk towards the park, where she met her friends for the short walk to Witt Elementary. No friend ever saw her at the park, and she never made it to her fourth grade classroom.

Yesterday, Jessica's water bottle and backpack were found in Superior, about six miles from the site where she was last seen by her mother. This moved the search, which included over eight hundred volunteers on Saturday, to a new location. Bloodhounds and police were seen combing the area yesterday, cars and homes were being searched, and people were trying to help in any way possible.

Statistically, stranger abduction is rare, and it rarely ends well. In keeping up with this story, I keep thinking about the little girl from Pueblo, who was kidnapped and then freed herself at a gas station in Colorado Springs. I keep thinking about that happy ending and hoping the same thing happens with Jessica. I find myself checking and rechecking the news, hoping for something good for Jessica and her family.

My son is ten years old. He veers between wanting to do engineering projects and talking about algebraic equations and wanting to watch Spongebob or cuddle up on the couch with a read-aloud book. Ten teeters on the fence between big kid and little kid- still preferring velcro tennis shoes but maybe needing deodorant. I let him walk from school occasionally. I leave him for fifteen minutes while I drop his sister off at her high school. He proufly walks from the house to his karate dojo and back- less than a block, but it was still a milestone for us. I may or may not have snuck to watch, to make sure he used the crosswalk correctly. I want to smother him with protection and love, but I find myself slowly nudging him to fly freely a little bit more. Jessica's disappearance has me questioning whether I should give him the ability to spread his wings or if I should keep him in the nest a bit longer.

We are definitely talking about protecting ourselves, being aware of our surroundings, and being cognizant of people (both aquaintances and strangers). These are tihngs I have taken for granted and let slip by the way until this weekend. Jessica's disappearance is a wakeup call for all of us, one that I truly hope has a happy ending.

Are you guys watching? Have you heard anything more this morning? Are you talking about this or about safety with your kids, and if so, how?  


  • countrygirlkat
    October 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    It is so sad and so scary and I hope that they find her alive and well.  I always question where the line is between being too protective and not protective enough.  Stories like Jessica's make me question even more. 

  • Greekmama21
    October 8, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    We are watching, it's sad. We were looking at a house in Rock Creek which was for sale yesterday, police were in searching. Our ID's were taken and we were questioned. 

  • Aleta775
    October 8, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I'm sure that Jessica's mom was trying to give her a little independence. Jessica may have even insisted that she was old enough to make that walk to school on her own. I have a toddler, and I'm already thinking about what lines I will draw, and the battles with my kid that might ensue. It is hard to pick those battles. I just feel for this poor girl's mom and the mental beating she is probably giving herself right now. I just can't imagine. I don't think I'd be able to breathe without wanting to loose my mind.

    I hope this child is found safe and sound. I hope she manages to get away and find help.

  • rocky_mtn_mama
    October 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    This is just so sad to me.  My youngest son is 11 and I can't even begin to imagine what I'd be going through if it were him.  Her mom must be so devistated.

  • heydooney
    October 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I am praying for her.

  • feliciasmith
    October 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM
    This story kills me! My mom works with Jessicas mom, she works the night shift and while she was sleeping the school only called her! Not the 2nd or 3rd family member on the contact list. 8hrs she was missing and nobody even knew.....
  • everydayjill
    October 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I hurt for the mom. She was doing what we all do, letting her daughter walk to school- I've done the same thing, thinking I can see him til that last little bit.

  • Babybear89
    October 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM
    I really hope they find her safe
  • Bradensmommy719
    October 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM
    Me too

    This is heartbreaking

    Quoting Babybear89:

    I really hope they find her safe
  • littlemascara
    October 9, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    My heart breaks for this family, and worse that the odds are so dismal.  Please let her come home alive.  Her mother did nothing wrong, the person who took Jessica did.

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