Jessie, this is so relatable and frustrating and heartwrenching. I relate as the mom of a tween daughter. I had interactions like this when both my son and daughter were babies. It's hard to figure out the line between paranoia (for me) and good ole natural Mama Bear instincts. For when your daughter is older, there's a device that I keep meaning to write about that always made me feel safer when walking/running alone as a youngish woman. It's not pepper spray, a whistle, or gun, btw.

Anyway, a kind father who's daughter had committed suicide once taught me about the Mama Bear who resides in me to protect my children. I think all moms have this instinct--and Danielle is right--it's time to trust it more.

It'd also be great to live in a world where the male leer isn't acceptable.