Xiao Tong came in this morning with a frightening tale. It seems a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped off of the playground at the school that Xiao Tong’s son attends, just down the road near the airport. It happened a week ago, and I’m not sure why she waited until today to tell me. Is it possible she didn’t know until today? She told me it was on the local news – perhaps that’s how she found out.
She said she’s told her son he isn’t allowed to play after school – he has to go straight home instead.
Tonight, I heard from someone else that a little girl was kidnapped, but that the police found her with her kidnapper, and as he was holding a knife to her throat, they shot and killed him. True story? Apparently. Same girl? Seems likely. I’ll ask Xiao Tong in the morning.
The poor girl, and her poor mother. I’ve been worried about them all day. There are many, many kids who disappear here, and most of the time, it never makes the news. It’s a huge country, after all, with a tightly controlled media. As foreigners, we have security concerns in Beijing, and we have some issues that are unique to this place. But my kids are free to roam here, and I’m pretty certain they’ll be safe. The same could not be said if we were in the States right now, and I doubt it’ll be true in Jordan. Here, though, in our little corner of Beijing, we’re running a kid paradise. It’s safe, it’s secure, and all of those prying eyes simply mean that little foreign kids can’t get far, even if they want to.
Older kids, not so much: there are always scary stories about them. My husband gets involved sometimes, and I’ll get a glimpse of what he’s working on, and it gives me the shivers. There are just so many ways for a kid to get hurt.
Hug your kids extra tight tonight, folks. And then, if they’re anything like mine, you’ll need to tell them to get back in their bleeping beds already. I know why I lie awake at night worrying. But why the heck are they all still awake?
EDITED TO ADD: It was not the same girl. One girl was rescued from her kidnapper yesterday, according to news reports. But the little girl from Xiao Tong's son's school is still missing. Say a prayer for those parents, would you?