Received Saturday, November 8, 2008.
I wasn't sure at first if I should post something, but we figured this was something we would want to know.
Yesterday (Friday), JJ Byrne Park, around 3:00, I was with my son when a young boy named Henry (he introduced himself), around 3 years old, blonde/reddish hair, blue eyes, started hanging around us (me especially.) Very sweet, seemed like he wanted or needed a little attention and interaction. I went to sit on a bench a few feet away from the jungle gym (or whatever they are called) and noticed that he had followed me and sat right next to me, almost up against me. Although I would have had no problem engaging with him, I was a little uncomfortable, for obvious reasons. After a few seconds, his nanny, who was sitting on the next bench, called for him after seeing us together. She was mid twenties to late thirties, small to medium build, dark skinned with a brown hat (the kind that Fidel Castro wears, not sure what the style is called.) She had a gray umbrella stroller on which there was a purple bag. I had noticed her a bit earlier, when Henry had first started hanging near me and my son. She hadn't been paying much attention until she saw him on the bench with me.
I was a little concerned that she didn't see him come over to me, but my real concern was that after he left, and shortly came back, It was a good five or ten minutes until I saw her even look for him. I was looking over towards her the whole time hoping she would make eye contact and notice that I was a father playing with my son as well, maybe to put her at ease, but she never looked around. She just sat there staring straight ahead. If she had noticed her charge following a stranger around, even one there with his own son, shouldn't she have been a little concerned? If I saw that my son was prone to following someone around whom I didn't know, adult or child, my eyes would have never left him. But she didn't even seem to know that he came right back to me.
It eventually got to the point where I figured we should leave. It was getting to that point anyway, but I was feeling more and more uncomfortable as I realized this sweet boy would have probably left with us without hesitation, just for the interaction. He saw that we were having fun, and really wanted to join in.
This is just a little heads up for Henry's parents. Things can happen so quickly, and I find that my heart skips a beat if I've been distracted for even 5 seconds while with my son. And Henry seemed so friendly, or attention starved, or both, that I fear what could happen if the wrong person came along.