I’m a little worried that my danger alert system malfunctioned without my knowledge. I have one of those built in, right? Doesn’t that equipment come standard in a mom? I never got the manual, and it’s freaking me out lately.
The other day, my kids ran off to the boy’s room – the one with the bunk beds - with arms full of couch cushions. I asked: “Do I want to know what you’re doing?” They were pretty sure that I did not. I knew in my heart that they were right, and there were no sirens or flashing lights alerting me to danger, so it must have been a solid plan.
Later that night, my kids were talking about what a great mom I am, because when that other mean mom at the park wouldn’t even let her kid clamber up the slide, I not only let them, but I was also cool with them jumping down from the top.
I rely on my assumed warning system, because I believe that kids should climb trees and scramble on rocks, and I believe that kids should run more than walk, even on the black top, especially when they only have a 20 minute break during the school day.
We’ve been lucky enough to have relatively few accidents in our family history, especially if you don’t count that one time when a certain five year old boy fractured his tibia when he collided with the air in a bouncy house.
But that’s the thing, he never broke his leg falling from a tree limb, or running at school, or slipping between rocks on the jetty, or landing from a launch off of his top bunk. It was a fluke, an accident, one of those things that just happen, whether or not you’re being careful.
There’s a fine line between allowing your children to take risks and casually risking their safety. I need to rely on my internal danger-alert warning system for those times when my mouth should say no even though my spirit says yes. But I think mine’s broken.
I need to believe that if my kids are careful and I’m paying attention, they will be okay, even when they take risks.
But sometimes it’s not okay. Sometimes shit happens. Accidents happen. Sometimes accidents happen, even if you’re being really careful and safe. Even if your mom is watching.
Where is the line? How much freedom can parents and schools allow without being lackadaisical?
Today I’m scheduled to renew my CPR and 1st Aid training. I always feel a heightened sense of alert when I take these classes, like I should keep my cape and mask handy for the certain tragedy that lurks around every corner. Have you noticed that the recommendations for CPR keep changing? I haven’t done it in a few years, but my husband told me that in his recent training, he was told that you’re not supposed to worry about the breathing so much anymore, just the chest compressions. Curious. I’ve always clung to the 15:2 pattern in my head during imaginary rescue situations. I guess the bottom line is that we should just do the best we can, be aware, be careful.
I should have bought the warranty on that danger alert system, though.