Monday, August 19, 2013

Fear, worry and trust... all part of the same parenting puzzle.

I sat listening to a friend tell why she doesn't like her son playing air soft guns with all the buddies.... he's previously had a flesh wound. And I just listened... thinking that I'm well past that stage of worry and fear.  Those are war wounds to these boys, battle scars.  Just let 'em be boys and have fun, -  advice from an experienced mom, right?  Ate my words today... as I took my 9 year old Kid 3 to a birthday party that was billed as a "secret military training camp.... with laser tag, games, and outdoor fun." 

The plan was to drop him off and head to the next kid's event, leaving him in the care of the other party moms.  But I arrived to a storage warehouse on the outskirts of downtown, complete with razor wire fences, broken down cars, trailers, collections of this and that, and nails and broken glass all over. But the big one that just tugged at my heart - because I saw visions of little boys being impaled - 2 unmarked metal stakes sticking out of the ground, meant for a game of horse shoes... but aiming right for my child's eye. 

And I felt uncomfortable.... and I felt mean for not trusting the party family, and I felt mad that I might have nails in my tires.... but mostly  I felt worry at leaving my kid in a place that just didn't feel right to me.  A place that wasn't in my care.  A place that made me question if I was being over protective or if I was just being a normal mom.  I thought normal moms of multiple boys were fearless and carefree. The kind that let our kids run around like wild men, come what may.... But I'm obviously not as brave as I thought. 

Or as I pretend to be.

 Fireman Dave knows.... I immediately went by the fire station in a fuss telling him and all the guys about the party dangers facing my defenseless baby under the inner city bridge.....(while my other 2 started their own dangerous game of climbing on the roof of the station). And as I've learned with time, men are a different breed of parent than women - always saying everything's gonna be fine.   

Can y'all stick his eye back in?  Can y'all sew up a lung when it gets punctured by a  metal stake in the ground?   Can I ever let go of the worry when I can't see my babies?  And even when I do see them? 

But all turned out well.  No party injuries.  And he loved, loved, loved his day.  But before I left him, I actually had Kid 1 remove the metal horse shoe stakes from the ground and put them in a top secret place.  Just to be on the safe side.  That gave me a little more trust that I could leave Kid 3 and head to the next kid stop on the agenda.  

Reminded me of years ago when toddler Kid 1 got stuck in the top of the McDonald's play-land.  Screaming and crying and couldn't figure out how to get down.  And it was just me and infant Kid 2 to rescue him.  So I trusted a lady at another table to care for Kid 2 while I attempted a rescue mission.  I decided to trust that she wasn't a crazy kidnapper.  And she wasn't.  Just another mom.  And I trusted the other moms today who helped me get my little ones to and from, and who watched over them when I couldn't be there.  Fear, worry and trust turn out to be all pieces of the same parenting puzzle.

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