Sunday, July 31, 2011

Playing it Safe

Yesterday, we were at a school function with the children. We let the 3 kids run amok because it was an open air area but at the same time, it was enclosed. It was on a roof top garden. The 3 of them had a whale of a time, making friends with Packrat's students and being greatly entertained and indulged in a manner that we, the parents do not.

The issue came later when I was told that I should have kept a closer watch on them, especially Jordan because she was a girl and things can happen to little girls. I understood the concern but have not stopped wondering whether the people who told me that were being too paranoid or I was being too relaxed with her safety.

If it was an open area, filled with strangers we didn't know, obviously we would have not allowed them to run off the way they did. Because these were students, most of them knew Packrat and there was really no place they could disappear to, we set them free. But of course, it takes just one freak incident for any situation to not be safe anymore.

And that is the problem. And that makes it hard for me to figure out how safe is safe and how safe is paranoid? One of the big things on my list to teach them is independence and to be streetwise. I really have no desire to bubble wrap them and to police their every move.

On top of that, there is Muffin. My little fearless tornado that gets into all sorts of scraps. Just last week, he whirled himself into the lift and before anyone could hop in with him, the door closed sending him on a vertical tour of our block! Thankfully, he stayed put and didn't go a wandering. All he did was bawl his eyes out while he waited to be rescued, which he was, on the sixth floor by a couple who recognised him and brought him to the ground floor where we were waiting.

Of course, there was great temptation to point fingers and assign blame. Especially when I imagined all the horror scenarios that could have befallen him. But I think the incident made me also realise that much as I want to protect my children, it takes a split second for circumstances to move against us. And I can't be hyper-vigilant and watch all 3 twenty four hours a day, every day.

I suspect all I can really do is to hope teach my children to look out for themselves, trust those that help me care for them when I am not around and pray really really hard that their angels continue to deliver them from harm. More than that, I really don't know what I could do!

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