So, most of you know that I tend to be a tad bit on the paranoid side (notice the look of sheer terror on my face).
When confronted with a situation or a proposition, such as, "Mom, can I go outside and play?" I think to myself, passively at first, “oh, what’s the worst that could happen?”
At that point, my thoughts inevitably lead from a simple afternoon outside in the backyard, to one of my children being kidnapped and then who-knows-what else while I spend the rest of my life in an agonizing search for the baby I lost when I let him step out that back door. So, the passive question, ”what’s the worst that could happen?” turns into a small anxiety attack, when chances are, that whole mother’s worst nightmare scenario really isn’t going to happen. And yes, I actually do let my kids play outside:).
And here's where my dilema comes in, have you ever heard of a helicopter mommy? I don’t want to be a helicopter mommy. I'm sure you know them, the moms that hover over their children at the playground, and when playing with other kids, never letting them experience so much as a scrape or skirmish. I really try hard not to be that, but, I have this innate urge to protect my offspring.
Last week my kids were watching Winnie the Pooh, and I a major epiphany courtesy of that silly old bear. In that particular episode, Rabbit had grown the perfect pumpkin. The pumpkin was so perfect that he just HAD to protect it. The super sleuths started building a variety of contraptions to protect the pumpkin from all the ills of the world, but with each completed contraption another weak spot was revealed. For instance, they built a fence all the way around the pumpkin, but it was left vulnerable on top. Their efforts eventually led them to building a completely enclosed structure around and on top of the pumpkin. Nothing could get in. Nothing could hurt it. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but I’ll finish the story anyway:). Rabbit quickly realized that his pumpkin was getting weak, the lack of sun, water, and fresh air made it frail and start to wither. It turned out that smothering the pumpkin was actually killing it, not helping it. And so it goes.
If my kids are never able to spread their wings, take a risk, and be exposed to life, they will never be able to learn. They won't know how to pick themselves up when they fall. If I never allow them to feel defeated, how will they know the joy of success? I could do my best to never let them scrape a knee, or stub a toe, but at what cost? What journeys will they be missing out on, and will they really be growing?
(I LOVE where I live)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that there are times that I will need to walk along side my kids, I will arm them with the protection they need to fight their battles, (such as an unstrapped backwards helmet. . .see below)but eventually, I’ll have to do it. I’ll have to let go. And I know if when I do, I will be better for it, and they will be too.
So until that day comes. The day that I’ll have to let go, I’m going to do everything I can to put all of my crazies aside, and watch my perfect pumpkins grow.
Side Note: Most of these pictures were taken at baby animal days in Logan, thanks little sis for inviting us! We had a great time:).