Curious, spirited and reckless

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crowds

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days about the mother of the little boy who got into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. My first thoughts were Why the hell wasn’t she watching him??? What the hell was wrong with her???  I hope they press charges against her for this!! Why in God’s name are people not watching their kids???

Yesterday I remembered a terrible day I had as a young mother. Alex was a very well-behaved child and I was vigilant in keeping an eye on him. AND…when he was three I lost him in “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” at Disney World. Yep. Lost him. Huge crowd, we let go of each others’ hands, I turned around and he was GONE. I was melting down in front of a Disney employee (“Find him, he’s gone!!!”) when we spotted him across the crowd. A very kind family lifted Alex up onto one of the giant rocks, calming him by telling him “your mom will definitely be able to see you up here, we know she’s looking all over for you.” It was a horrible few minutes of panic searching for him. And that’s really all it was – just a few minutes. It felt like an eternity. It was just a moment where I took my eye off of him and we were separated. But that’s all it really takes, isn’t it? Just a moment…

 Ugh. It’s so easy to jump on the bandwagon, isn’t it? It’s so easy to forget that we’re all human and that bad things happen in just a moment.

It’s easy to forget that it really does take a village some days. My heart will always be full of gratitude for the family who calmed Alex and lifted him up where I could see him. I’m sorry no one else in the crowd at the zoo snatched that little boy back off the edge. Pre-schoolers are curious, spirited and reckless. It takes a village.

#BeingRena

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On motherhood, walking dogs and courage to let go

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motherhood and dog walkingI hike with my dogs in a wonderful wooded park near my house. Well, I wouldn’t really call it hiking. Its more like four dogs dragging me up and down narrow trails because I refuse to let go of their leashes. I stubbornly refuse to let go of their leashes.

If I’m not holding on to their leashes all kinds of terrible things could happen to them. That eagle who nests across the street could show up and snatch one of them, or a hawk could grab one of them, or a wild coyote could grab one of them, or some terrible big dog, or a freaked out goose, or maybe that mean looking swan, or some kind of MONSTER could just come and snatch one of them…….

A good dog owner doesn’t let go of the leash (I self-importantly tell myself).

Bullshit.

I’m AFRAID to let go of the leash.

Ugh…I’m doing it again.

Its a lot like all of the things I worried about happening to Alex. Anything could happen to him and he would be snatched away from me if I didn’t hold him oh so tightly. Any number of horrible monsters could appear if I didn’t manage every detail. I never could find the courage to “let go of the leash” with Alex. He finally cut it so I had to let go of him. I left him absolutely no choice.

And everything was okay. It wasn’t at first, but it was eventually.

Its not easy learning how to let go of the leash. Sigh…

I love you Alex LaBue. Thanks for cutting the leash and teaching me to be brave.