Earlier this week Gabe asked me if he could ride his bike to school. My immediate, knee-jerk answer was a firm, resounding NO. We live in a rural area, but to get to the middle school, there is a huge chunk of highway riding. My baby. Riding his bicycle. On the highway. All alone. Without me to keep him safe.
So yes, it was NO! But somewhere in the back of my mind there was a different thought, so I told Gabe that I would talk to Dad about it (I know it sounds like a wimp-out answer, but I was trying to stay objective and not answer simply by reflex).
Of course John was all for the solo ride to school during morning rush hour. The mom in me felt a need to balance out the dad, and I thought to myself I should surely deny my eldest baby. As a mom you have a powerful instinct to nurture, love, and protect your children. You can't help it. It is this undeniable phenomenon that strikes you like a bolt of lightning the moment you lay eyes on your tiny, helpless, vulnerable, newborn child. It is just part of becoming a Mom-you turn into a super protective freak! :)
In the infinite wisdom of God, he made children have 2 parents by design. One to be the paranoid loon, and one that is willing to take that same vulnerable offspring and heave it several feet into the air for 'fun.' I can see the need for both, and I try to tame the Mom-beast that is always swimming just below the surface. I try to think about the fact that I want my kids to live boldly in this world. I want them to travel to foreign countries, have difficult experiences, and taste far away flavors. But that mom part of me wants them to do it all...well, safely. I can recognize that these ideas might be at odds. So I relented.
I agreed to letting Gabe ride to school. But I talked about crossing the highway, and I made him take the cell phone so he could call me when he got there. I have to admit that Gabe was ever the good sport through it all. He waited patiently for me to come to my 'yes' answer and never balked when it looked like a 'no.' I actually am beginning to think he has me figured out and I played right into his hands. :)
He rode to school and it was all very...uneventful. He made it no problem. Not a hitch. Not a scratch.