I do not feel my kids are safe. This is something that I have been feeling since the day I found out I was pregnant and is in the back of my mind daily. There are some very evil people in this world who have ruined my ability to be okay with my children becoming independent. I am not happy that this is part of who I have become as a parent – but what choice do I have?
A big part of growing up when we were kids involves that first time you got to go to the park on your own. How about when you could spend an entire Saturday outside with friends – maybe coming home to eat but usually being invited over to a neighbours house for lunch or a snack. And of course, not going home until that first streetlight came on.
I look at my son, almost 6 years old, smart and full of energy. With every ounce of independence I allow him, he grows so much. Why is it so hard? Just last week, I had tears in my eyes when, for the first time ever, I allowed him to run out to the car to get a toy he had left in the backseat. I stood by the window and watched him as he ran out there so confidently and I felt proud as I noticed him look down the driveway first to make sure it was safe to walk across. He was back inside within 2 minutes, yet that entire time, running through the back of my head were thoughts of all the things that could have gone wrong while he was out there. That night I had a nightmare about a man in a mask swooping down over the driveway and snatching him up like an eagle going after a mouse.
How do I get passed this? Did our parents feel the same way when they allowed us out into the world or has the dangers in society really changed how parents think nowadays?
The sheer thought of allowing my child to play out in the world without me being able to see him at all times makes me very anxious. I know a time is going to come when I am going to have to allow it but the question is: When? When will he be ready? When will I be ready? When can I feel okay about it?