I don’t want to trust my own judgments as being above those of “common folk.”
I don’t want to be the butt of the jokes about “those parents” told by friends, family, co-workers, and late night television hosts and comedians.
I don’t want to go overboard in obsessing about each hurt (or potential) hurt that my child could one day experience.
I don’t want to live my child’s life.
I don’t want my child to never make any mistakes.
I don’t want to consider a child leash as a “good” way to ensure she stays within my sight.
I don’t want to live in fear about some unknown that only makes itself known in the darkest moments of my consciousness…
But, in assessing some of my obsessive, borderline helicoptering tendencies, my obsession with molding a safe “bubble” for my little girl, I am worried for my sake.
I watch the news. I talk to others. I know what could be OUT THERE.
And, I think it is this knowledge, this knowledge of what could be OUT THERE of what is said and being said in the news that scares me, that makes me want to “hover” noisily ’round the perimeter that is my baby’s very young life.
What could be OUT THERE, what I have seen and heard about being OUT THERE makes me overly paranoid when, for instance, the creepy looking greeter at my local Sams Club, who reminds me of some pedophile I saw on Forensic Files, reaches to hold my little girl’s hand each time we go for groceries.
I can’t control what could be OUT THERE. I know. So, I concluded upon throwing out the last unopened jar of “impure” baby food that my mom purchased against my earnest wishes that even my daughter’s internal system “remain pure,” that instead, I try to desperately to control, well, everything else.
I say this even while acknowledging that I AM NOT IN CONTROL.
I would like to be balanced in the raising of my daughter (and perhaps I will be, eventually). I would like to meld a bit of free ranging with helicoptering in the raising of my children, but I just am not uncertain as to how to go about doing this.
Parents: How do you balance your children’s need for safety with their other need for independence? Where do you draw the line? How do you draw the line?