I have seen most (maybe all) episodes of Law & Order, SVU seasons included, so I am well aware of the risks of letting a stranger in your door. As a teenager I read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which only graphically reinforced the lessons received in grade school about the perils of stranger danger. With my own daughters, we established a word that any person going to them on my behalf would have to know before they would leave with them (after reading a horrifying article on human trafficking). I get it. And yet.
One of these daughters asked me if a teenage boy she met had briefly in Santa Fe and connected with on social media could come for a visit and stay in our house. This boy lives out-of-state and not only have I never met him, I don’t know anyone who knows him or his family. My immediate reaction was NO WAY! But something small knocked inside me trying to get my attention – something about wanting to live a bigger, more expansive life. Something about not being afraid of the boogie man always crouching behind a dark corner. Something about being open and creating space for others, even the stranger.
So we said yes. My husband Robert came home from a business trip to be here and we talked to the boy’s mom on the phone a few times. We ate together and I made him soufflé because not only has he never been to Kansas, but no one in his entire extended family has ever been. I told him to think of our state from now on as the place of tornadoes, Dorothy and soufflés, but I suspect he will think of it as the home of the lovely Emma.
I have to agree with a quote attributed to Shirley MacLaine, “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.”
Here’s to a summer of more friends. Love, Molly
One Comment Add yours
What a great reminder to seek a more expansive life. As a fellow Kansan (you and I actually met years ago!) I possess that Midwestern trust gene coupled with a fear of the unknown. I’m sure your Emma was extra grateful that you had the foresight and courage to share a souffle with someone no longer a stranger. Great read!