Shaken, Not Stirred

I don’t usually blog about my personal life in this space, mainly because I assume that no one cares, but I wanted to share something and this seemed like the space to do it.

I messed up yesterday (This is no news flash, I mess up a lot).
At our swim meet, my husband and I were hanging out in Tent City where all the parents sit and pass the five or six hours that a swim meet generally takes in a position much closer to the parking lot than the pool when this guy showed up:
okay, not this actual guy, but a similar guy.
No joke.  We sat and watched as a man in a grim reaper costume with his face fully covered by a mask walked towards the other team’s tent city.  In my head I wanted to get up and say something, but then a woman got in front of him and took a picture, so I decided that maybe it was a joke or something and I didn’t move from my chair.  I didn’t feel great about that decision, but I did it anyway.
A few minutes later, when the first police car showed up, my stomach dropped.  I hopped up to find my kid, but luckily he was already on his way towards me.  Frequently at swim meets your children aren’t with you- either they’re checking in a few events before they swim and they’re waiting in a corral or they’re off in another tent playing with friends.
**Nobody gets hurt in this story**
I wasn’t sure at the time what had happened, but when I got an email today that the grim reaper made it all the way down to clerk of course (where children go to check in before their events and wait for their turn to swim) I realized what an idiot I was.  I try not to be the type of parent that assumes that everyone is out to hurt my children, and, in fact, this guy had showed up to prank his brother in law on his birthday, but what if it wasn’t a joke? Coming off of the tragedy in Colorado this week, it shook me to the core to realize that at least 100 parents had to see this guy and assume he was safe enough to let him right up to where our children were.  I don’t know fully what happened that the police had to become involved, but I do know that I wish I’d stood up and assumed it wasn’t a harmless joke.
I’m not usually a helicopter parent, but I’m shaken enough by knowing just where this guy ended up to realize that maybe I need to put a little more flight plan into my daily life.
What would you have done if you saw the grim reaper heading into a swim meet?