Choking Hazards. Keeping shoes on outside. Making sure the metal slides (do they even make metal slides anymore?) aren't too hot. Don't let kids do X, don't let them do Y.
I saw this picture on pinterest today, and someone commented that whatever came out of it would be put in a child's mouth regardless of whether it was a toy or candy. Yeah, it probably would be, because that's part of how kids learn about their world. Could it be a choking hazard? Probably. So is it meant for a 6 month old to play with? No. Should it be used with adult supervision? Yes.
What happened to us? What happened to letting kids be kids? To trusting our intuition about what our kids can do/ can't do/ handle/can't handle?
(and who the heck am I, Mrs. Mama Owl, always the fearful, to be writing something like this?)
I have come to the realization that we are living in a culture of fear. We are so afraid of letting kids be kids, that we are holding them back. We are not letting them experience things because we are afraid of what might happen.
I am afraid too. I don't want the owlet to hurt. Ever. But he is going to hurt. He is going to trip, and he's going to fall. He's going to try to climb too high on a tree and he's going to get scrapes and cuts and bruises. And I know this. And I hope that he is going to be ok.
I am trying to love him deeply, to allow him to enjoy every single moment. While still keeping him safe. I'm standing back a little farther on the playground now. Letting him run a little freer. While still making sure he stays safe, of course. We still tell him, "that doesn't go in our mouths," but we don't yell and scream if a little bit of dirt, or a stick, or a crayon goes in his mouth.
I'm slowly learning to trust my intuition. To give the Owlet a little more space, to grow into the amazing boy I know he's going to be. To watch him make good choices, to learn what the rules are, to do things by himself.
And he's really such an amazing little guy, just as I knew in my heart he would be.