Tonight, I take my daughter and her two best friends out to dinner in the Big City of Fort Worth, TX. Well, it's awfully big, to us.
My daughter loves a restaurant there, and I'll be taking her there for her 12th birthday. She was allowed to invite her bestest friends. I'll be along to pay the check, and such. But basically, it's a first Girls' Night Out, for her. We'll walk the Stockyards or Sundance Square, or whatever.
I'm happy to blend in, and not make eye contact, as I'm sure she desires. Each girl carries a cell phone. I carry a cell phone and a gun or two.
On the way in, I think that I shall make clear my expectations about expected response to directions. My elder daughter knows them. But the other girls may not fully get that run, and get down mean exactly that. In my family, we also have a benign-sounding danger phrase, which I suppose that I will let them in on.
I, of all people, recognize that the world is actually a safer place than we give it credit for being, and I don't much think about these things, until I get put in charge of Other People's Children.
But when I take a group of kids downtown on a Friday night, I gird myself a bit tighter.