Remember when you could let the kids out of the house without worrying some whack-job would be lingering around the corner watching your kids every move? Yeah, I can’t either. I was the last generation without a care. The last generation to bike ride miles from home. The last to walk to school, three miles away. The last to sit in the car unattended while our parents shopped. The last to play outside until the sun went down. From Friday afternoon to Sunday night I was perpetually muddy, stinky, and happy. My parents would strip us down in the front yard and suds my brother and I up in Dawn dish soap before we were allowed in the house. Normal? COMPLETELY!
But now, as a new mom in the new millennium, I’m constantly confronted with the “you can’t do that” attitude of today’s society. And rightfully so. I can’t let my 3.5 year old play outside in our completely fenced yard unattended. After all, you never know who’s watching. I can’t leave him in the car to run in to the convenience store without thinking someone will call the cops, child protective services, or worse, take him. We’re living in a rough world. One that makes this young mom think twice about everything she lets her kiddo do. Am I overprotective? YOU BETCHA! And proud, so proud of it.
But I’m just the tiniest bit sad to see the restrictions placed on today’s wee-ones. My son will never know freedom like myself or my husband. It’s a different time. People are different. Parents are different. Heck, even the kids are different. And as parents we’re charged with being even more alert, even more protective, and even more aware than our parents ever were, or had to be. I take that responsibility seriously. There is NEVER such a thing as too safe. Now, I’m not going to bubble wrap my kid, that’s insane (right?). I’ll step back. I’ll keep my distance. I’ll let him get bruised, skin his knees, and get dirty. After all, he’s all boy. But I’ll be there, just around the corner, watching his every move, protecting him better than any momma bear could until he grows into a completely capable, secure man.
This face is worth my time. Always.