Joe wasn't buying it.
I have pretty much ordered pictures whenever there are pictures to be ordered. I also posses dozens of photo albums chronicling every moment of my children's young lives.
Photos are my thing.
Except those posed baseball ones.
Joe hastily dug through his wallet, found enough cash for the minimum order, and borrowed another kid's baseball hat before shoving the boys in the general direction of the photographer.
"We can't not order their baseball pictures!" he insisted, eyeing me suspiciously.
When the photos arrived a month or so later, my stomach dropped:
The photos, just like every childhood baseball photo I have ever seen, reminded me of Adam Walsh.
As someone who grew up in the wake of the 1981 kidnapping and murder of little Adam, the image of the sweet little boy smiling from beneath his too-big baseball hat has haunted me for 30 years. This baseball picture was widely circulated throughout the media at the time of the kidnapping, and for many mothers, it served as a reminder to hold tightly to their kids and trust nobody.
As a mother now, I have forced myself to shake off some of my Adam Walsh fears. I realized that I needed to allow my boys to use public restrooms without screaming "EVERYTHING OKAY IN THERE?" every 10 seconds. I needed to learn to let them cross the street without my all-clear. I needed to fight the urge to homeschool them whenever I read a story of a shooting or child predator.
I started relying on statistical data and odds relative to stranger abductions in this quest. For the first time ever, I have consciously suppressed my helicopter tendencies. Most days, it is physically painful, but I am determined to ease up or I know my children will end up fleeing to Alaska to escape me.
I must say, though, this thing would be a whole lot easier if our last name wasn't Walsh.
And if my husband didn't insist on buying those damn baseball pictures.