When Nicole Walters sent her oldest child off to college, she told herself that while yes she would miss her daughter, the two would at least talk and text almost every day. What Nicole didn’t know was that despite all her hopes for the future, her daughter had other plans.
After dropping her off at school, Nicole waited by the phone to get updates from the new college student in her life. But the line stayed silent. Nicole got scared and decided to take action, but what she did isn’t something you’ll find in any parenting book…
Thanks to her unflagging determination and a serious creative streak, Nicole Walters had it all. But in her mind, that also meant that she had a lot to lose. In 2017, she feared her life was devastatingly close to falling apart…
See, Nicole founded Monetize Thyself, an entrepreneurial venture in which she helps small business owners make their dreams a success. Though impressive, Nicole doesn’t count her job as the most important thing in her world.
First and foremost, Nicole cares about her family. She and her husband, who live in Maryland, adopted three children a couple years earlier, and they immediately became her greatest joy. Of course, parenting is never without its difficulties.
That spring, her eldest child — whom Nicole affectionately nicknamed “BigTiny” — graduated high school. With adulthood looming, this super-mom did everything in her power to get her kid college-ready.
Once BigTiny went off to school, Nicole fretted that her daughter would feel overwhelmed. After all, she remembered how stressful the university environment can be. So Nicole wanted to be there for her child — except she wasn’t able to be!
At one point, over the course of three days, Nicole sent a bunch of texts that went unanswered. Her husband then called BigTiny twice, but with no reply. In typical parent fashion, they began to worry that something terrible had transpired.
But then BigTiny finally got back to her family. Their phones lit up at 2 am after her first day of classes. “Oh no, sorry, I was just out late,” she wrote. Neither Nicole nor her husband could believe the inadequate response!
For one thing, Nicole needed an explanation of why her child went off the grid for 72 hours. She surmised that it couldn’t have been for a good reason, as the library wasn’t open 24 hours a day. Something was keeping BigTiny up so late!
Nicole feared that in her first week of college, her daughter was already blowing off her responsibilities so she could have a good time. Unacceptable — the Walters paid her tuition so she could earn her degree, not so she could socialize!
Ultimately, Nicole saw that she had to stand her ground. Just because BigTiny wasn’t physically under her roof anymore didn’t mean that she was free to disregard all of Nicole’s motherly advice. But what was the best way to get this across?
One slightly crazy idea popped into Nicole’s head. Gathering her keys and her husband, she climbed into her car. Maybe BigTiny didn’t like answering her phone, but she wouldn’t be able to ignore her parents if they surprised her in-person!
As they sped off toward their daughter’s college, Nicole realized her plan might be going a bit overboard. On the other hand, it was only natural. In all walks of life, moms go to extremes if it’s in the best interest of their kids — a mom protects her pups!
As soon as she set foot on campus, Nicole started filming herself and laid out her genius plan. She would walk around with a flyer urging students to tweet her any photos of BigTiny acting irresponsibly. It also came with a hefty reward.
Nicole offered any cooperating students a $10 Starbucks gift card and a free pizza. She knew this was an effective threat because college kids would do anything for some pizza. And that wasn’t the end of her offer either.
If her daughter ever ghosted her parents again, Nicole vowed that she would make 500 copies of her flyer and distribute them all over campus. “When your mommy’s an entrepreneur, I don’t have anything else to do,” she explained.
Within a few minutes, Nicole’s daughter arrived, though she remained off-camera. She apologized for her non-responsiveness, but also couldn’t help but laugh at her mom’s hilarious poster. Then Nicole shoved a ton of bananas in her child’s face, saying she needed the potassium.
All in all, the Walters clan enjoyed the humor behind the surprise visit, but it didn’t completely make up for their daughter’s actions over the past three days. Her parents weren’t leaving without an explanation.
She confessed that she hadn’t, in fact, placed herself in any mortal danger that weekend. Most of the time, she just binged Netflix with her new classmates in their dorm. Still, Nicole demanded change in BigTiny’s behavior.
And Nicole got that change. Realizing communication was more important than ever in their relationship, BigTiny made sure to FaceTime with her mom once a week. She also kept her family updated on her studies, which she was taking quite seriously.
Perhaps she’d made herself into a bit of a spectacle, but Nicole was proud that she got through to her stubborn daughter. In addition, she wasn’t the only one pleased with the outcome. Her video of the event went viral, gaining over 7 million views!
The resulting attention made Nicole’s daughter into a campus celebrity. BigTiny not only made lots of friends from the video, but also had people looking out for her well-being during a vulnerable time. When it comes to creative parenting, Nicole has her family covered!
Facebook / MonetizeThyself When it comes to creative parenting, Nicole has her family covered! For the vast majority of parents, nothing is more important than the safety of their children. And you can bet that when their kids are in danger, most moms would do anything to ensure they’re okay.
Semantha and Paul Bunce were a happily married couple from North Carolina who had two small children. They may have been young, but they were committed to each other and their growing family.
Though she was only 21, Semantha had accomplished quite a bit. She also served as a combat medic for the National Guard as part of Raeford, North Carolina’s HHC 105th Engineer Battalion.
As prepared as she was, Semantha could have never expected what would happen to her one seemingly ordinary day in November 2015, while she was spending time at home with her four-month old son, Bentley.
The young mother was alone at home with her infant son while Paul worked and their daughter was at school. Little did Semantha know that an afternoon that had begun like any other would quickly turn into a crisis.
Semantha had been breastfeeding Bentley when, suddenly, she heard a noise. Before she could react, burglars—who were armed with guns—forcefully knocked down her front door.
That would be enough to make just about anyone freeze with fear. Yet in that moment, Semantha’s maternal instincts—and Army training—kicked in, and she did something the intruders couldn’t have expected…
Semantha first needed to get out of harm’s way—and fast. With Bentley in her arms, she bolted upstairs to her bedroom. It was a good first move, but she knew that hiding could only protect them for so long…
Desperate times called for desperate measures. Once in the bedroom, Semantha retrieved Paul’s gun. While she was lucky to have some sort of protection—plus the appropriate military training—no mother would ever want to be in this position.
Thankfully, the violent, terrifying shootout was cut mercifully short when the mother’s returning fire apparently scared off the intruders, leading them to ultimately run away from the house.
Unfortunately, while Bentley was fine, Semantha didn’t escape unscathed. Not only did her home suffer serious damage, but she was severely wounded—she’d gotten shot not once, but twice.
Thankfully, Semantha’s injuries weren’t life-threatening—though she still had to go into recovery. Moreover, besides the physical and emotional pain, the medical bills put an enormous financial burden on the family.
Fortunately, Semantha’s comrades wasn’t going to let her down. Hollie Ritchie, a friend of her—and a fellow soldier in the HHC 105th Engineer Battalion—set up a GoFundMe page to help the Bunces pay their growing medical bills and for damage to the house.
Though the goal was only $15,000, the campaign ultimately raised more than $66,000 from people all over the United States—some of them complete strangers—who wanted to help this heroic mother and her family.
Countless folks, especially those who knew her, were impressed by Semantha’s fighting spirit. “To know that I know somebody that is that strong-willed and that much of a fighter is unbelievable,” Hollie wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Soon after the incident, news outlets all over the United States were asking an emotional Semantha to share her story. They couldn’t believe that a vulnerable mother would be able to ward off burglars the way she did. Still, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to the friends and family closest to her…
“She is an amazing person, mother, wife, friend and soldier,” Hollie continued on the GoFundMe page. “Would do anything for anyone and would quite literally give you the shirt off of her back if you needed it.”
This story had another happy ending, too, as justice was served. One of the intruders, 23-year-old Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., turned himself in to the authorities. He faced breaking and entering charges, as well as attempted murder.
Perhaps most importantly, though, was that baby Bentley didn’t even get a scratch. He’d be able to enjoy his childhood and have a long and happy life ahead of him… and he’ll have his brave, quick-thinking mother to thank for it.
Semantha certainly had no way of knowing that something so traumatic would happen to her on such an ordinary day, but it was a relief that she knew just what to do to defend herself—and protect her child.
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