Because our two children are in elementary school, we always walk them to their classroom on the first day of school. Last August, after making sure they were safely inside and where they were supposed to be, my wife and I headed back to our vehicle. Outside of the school, we came upon a little girl wandering aimlessly around the parking lot–no parent or guardian in sight!
We were quite alarmed, to say the least! My wife asked the small child if she knew where she was supposed to go, and with big puppy dog eyes she looked up and said, “No.” We then asked if she knew where her mommy or daddy was. Again, she replied, “No.” So, my wife took the frightened little girl’s hand, walked with her all the way back to the school office, and presented her to the principal, who was just as floored as we were.
How in the world could anyone just drop their 5 year-old little girl off in the parking lot and leave, especially on the first day of school?
We live in a very different world today than the one my wife and I grew up in. We both recall that when we were the age of our two children we had free roam about our neighborhoods. We’d ride our bikes all around, go to all the neighbors’ houses, and never think twice about it. But not in today’s world…there are lots of hurting people out there, who are in turn looking to harm young children. Therefore, it’s imperative that we be much more vigilant and cautious in this day and age.
To my wife and I, our children are the most important things on this planet. I understand that ultimately they are God’s children, and His to care for. However, God has entrusted their lives to us, so it’s our job to protect them. Sure, at times we are a bit overly-protective, but it’s only because we love them and we want what’s best for them. I constantly pray for their safety each and every day.
I understand that as our two kids get older, we are going to have to loosen up the reigns a bit, and let go. I constantly pray that God will give us the wisdom to know exactly how to do just that. We want both of our kids to experience independence and become great judges of their own situational awareness. But as long as they are small, we’re going to be a bit overprotective, and unapologetic about it. Hopefully, if you have small children, you will be, too–after all, we only get one shot at raising them!
Figuring It Out Along The Way,