Whew! This has been a long, busy week and I haven't written one word on Plugged Nickel or the new western. I have two short story contests I'm looking at but no short stories have come to mind. What has come to mind is this. . .
I read two blogs this week that impacted me. I found one from Crazeemommy's blog and was moved to tears. It was written by a mother who lost her two year old daughter last September in a tragic home accident--strangled by curtain cords. The mother writes about her loss and how she sees her daughter everywhere--in her other children, in children at the park or grocery store. Heartbreaking.
The other blog was Crazeemommy's. She had let her daughter go to another child's home and that mother had allowed the girls to go to a public swimming pool with an 18year old. Crazeemommy's concern was whether she was paranoid or protective as far as her kids are concerned.
From experience I can tell you a mother's worst fear is that of losing a child, particularly a young child we feel totally responsible for. When my girls were young, we didn't have the stories of child predators kidnapping them off the street. I admit I allowed by girls to play outside with other kids, ride their bikes far and wide and go to houses where I didn't know the parents as well as I should have. Too often I took their word that the parents were all right. Later I found out some of the parents were alcholics and absent when the girls were there. This happened more when they were older. Still, sometimes I don't think I was as protective as I should have been. At times I was more concerned with my own life than theirs, and I will always regret that. But I'm thankful nothing tragic happened to them either.
I had a school meeting one afternoon and didn't get home until after five o'clock. My girls knew I had it so they weren't surprised when I wasn't home when they got off the school bus right at our front door. When I got home I found the front door open, the house empty and my oldest daughter's bike in the front yard. My first emotion was a little bit of anger that they had gone off and left the house open, then a bit of fear worked its way in. Fortunately the phone rang at that point and I found out my youngest had been hit by a car on her bike. My oldest daughter had ridden home on her bike to call me at school. The office phone didn't ring in the room where we had our meeting and no one was in the office. She called her dad then she ran the several blocks back to where the accident happened. By the time I got the call all three of them were on their way home from the emergency room. Fear. Guilt. Gratefulness. I felt all those things. What could I have done differently? Nothing that time and thank God Sherri was all right. Also, thank God for cell phones today!
When Crazeemommy wonders if she's being paranoid, I say she isn't. If we don't protect our children, who will? It won't hurt them to miss a party or a play date if we don't "feel right" about it. God put that "knowing" into all mothers. Sherri told me that every time I told her I didn't want her doing something (when she was a teen ager) because it didn't feel right, and she did it anyway, something bad always came out of it. Now she's a mother and she knows all about that. Her son is a teen and he thinks she's paranoid when she won't let him go places with his friends unchaperoned and late at night. She isn't. She's being protective.
As mother's we have nothing to apologize for when we protect our kids. This doesn't mean we excuse bad behavior as many parents do. It just means we love our kids enough to care.