Monday, August 01, 2005

Cutting the cord

I heard a disturbing story on Glenn Beck this morning. Without going into too much detail, a woman’s daughter told her she didn’t want to go to dance class because the lady that drove them was a scary driver. The woman called the dance school and they assured her that their driver was very safe. Later that week, or maybe even that day, I don’t recall now, the woman who drove for the school got in an accident. It seems she was passing someone on a solid double line and hit a garbage truck head on. She was doing nearly 100 miles an hour. Needless to say, everyone in the van was killed. Thankfully, the woman heeded her little girl’s voice of concern and she was not on the van that day. But many other children were. As it turned out, the driver was a family member of someone who owned the dance studio and had already lost her license in another state for driving 107 mph on the freeway. Further investigation showed that three 911 calls had been placed about her driving by other motorists that very day before the accident occurred.

Sad. Scary. And infuriating. I hope the owners of that studio get their pants sued off so bad they won’t be able to afford to exist.

Somehow, this got me thinking about a distantly related incident in my life. So distant that probably only readers with kids will see the connection, but that’s life. My blog, my tangents ;). Anyway, we were afforded the chance to go out on the boat overnight Friday sans kids with some friends of ours. They had arranged for their daytime caregiver to have their kids overnight, and their caregiver had agreed to take care of our son as well so that we could go out all night kid-free if we were interested. The Hub posed the idea to me and in almost knee-jerk reaction I put the kabbash on it. Absolutely not. It was a kind and generous offer, not to mention (I admit with a guilty conscience) appealing ~ but we only leave him with people we know well and trust. (Okay, so we just started using a new sitter a few weeks ago that we didn’t know too well but was recommended by friends and is a minister’s daughter but that’s only for a few hours at a time, you got me there – but you know what I’m saying.) The point is I had never met this person in my life. Now I’m sure she’s fine. Our friends trust their kids with her and they’re not the careless type. But I don’t know her and that’s enough. Not to mention the boy has never, EVER been away from us overnight even with family let alone an utter stranger. The Hub agreed, but felt it fair to pose the idea to me.

We get teased a lot about our overprotectiveness.

“Oh, this is your first, kid, right? You’ll get over it!”

“You’ve got to cut the cord sometime!”

“You’re only robbing yourself of a little freedom! He’ll be fine!”

Oh yeah? How do I know that? Who are you to tell me I’m too Mother Hen? What makes you the authority on how valuable my only son is to me? And in a crazy world where many people don’t even know what their own family and friends are capable of doing to their children, and I’m supposed to trust complete strangers with him?

I’m sorry. Maybe we are indeed missing out on some fun by not trusting him with anyone who comes by. But I’m his Mother. We are his parents. It is our duty to protect him as best as we can from any potentially harmful situation, and leaving him with someone we don’t know to me is a potentially harmful situation.

Maybe people who spurt this "advice" to us don’t know that I have against my will submitted 5 children before my son into the arms of God before they were even in mine. And I’m not saying that other parents love their children less than I love mine. But perhaps I am all the more protective and keenly guarded with whom I trust to care for him when I’m not around, as this little angel was acquired with so many preceding tears.

Yes, eventually I'll be letting him out of my sight. But for now I'm his protector. He doesn't know yet how to protect himself, or how to let us know if something's wrong. My boy is my treasure, and it is my responsibility to keep him safe. I won’t let just anyone guard him. If anything would happen to him I wouldn’t be able to live.


Crista said...

This gave me goosebumps! I'm with you on this -- and in fact, I don't know about you, but I have a hell of a lot of fun with my baby, at home or out with her in tow! :)

So glad you stumbled across my blog (thanks for visiting!) and also glad you decided to blog again. Welcome back to the blogoshpere!

Holly said...

Amen, you can never be too protective of your children, I don't care what anybody says. You just follow what you know in your heart is right for you, your spouse, and your child(ren).

Kids grow up far to quickly, you can look forward to plenty of "sans-kids" fun later! And just enjoy all the time with them as you can, as long as they let you. Or so I am told :o)

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, and for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

You are a hundred percent correct in feeling as you do. Children grow up all to quickly as it is....and speaking from experience (mother of 5, grandmother of 11 living and several lost grandchildren, spend as much time as you can with them....there are many times that I wish mine were small and I was able to still protect them!