The Mind Of A Neurotic Mom

I just had to tell you about a conversation between two moms today:

Mom1: Hi, I was calling to see if your son could come over to our house on Friday to play with my son.

Mom2: That sounds great, what's your address? I'll bring him over after school.

Mom1: Well, actually, I'd be happy to pick him up with my son and just take him home with me.

(long pause)

Mom2: Um, well, I don't know. What kind of car seat do you have? What kind of car do you drive? Can I see a copy of your driving record? Do you have a safe home...no child predators in the neighborhood? Actually...how do I know that you are not a child predator? Now that we're talking I should probably ask, do you have any guns in your house? If so, then what do you do to secure them and keep the kids safe? Are there outlet covers on every outlet? Window locks on the 2nd floor windows? Are you trained in child CPR and first aid? What was your full name again? Maybe I should run a background check. I'll get back to you after I do that and have a chance to discuss all of your answers with my husband.

(really long pause)

Mom1: Actually, never mind. I think I dialed the wrong number. I didn't mean to call Neurotics-R-Us. Have a nice day.

Click.

OK, so I exaggerate just a tad. But not all that much!

Ben has made a little buddy in his kindergarten class, and the little boy's mom called to see if Ben could go home with them after school for a play date. My first, gut reaction? "No way man! I don't even know you!" Of course, I didn't say that. I just fumbled around for words, teared up a tiny little bit, and used the "I'll have to talk with my husband first" excuse. My own reaction surprised even me!

The other mom and I talked again today, and I have to confess...I did ask lots of questions. We talked about what kind of seat she had for Ben to use. She asked about what kinds of foods Ben liked (Oh yeah, he'd be EATING at this stranger's house too!). And yes, I asked if they have guns in the house.

It wasn't an interview. We both giggled through the entire neurotic mommy exchange. She was understanding and patient and gracious. (Thank you!)

I know that at some point I have to give the poor kid some freedom and just trust that he'll be OK. I continually pray for my children's physical and spiritual safety. I pray for their futures. I pray for their happiness and peace. But how can they ever have peace or a future with me hovering over them all the time?

My question is this...first of all...how did my parents EVER work up the courage to let me ride by blue 10-speed bike to downtown Williston all by my big girl self? Be honest, did you follow me in the car? 'Cause I think I would!

Second...how on earth do we keep our kids safe? I don't want to stunt my poor child's social growth with my over protectiveness, but I want him safe. Where's the line? He's 6...am I crazy?

I'd love to hear your take on this. What sort of freedom do your kids have? And for those of you who have kids who actually lived to the age of 18 with all limbs in tact...how did you do it?

Anonymous –   – (1/23/2008 03:58:00 PM)  

You've gotta be kidding! Safety in Williston? This is a place that isn't the end of the world, but you could see it from there; a place where it got to minus 48 degrees F (without the windchill) and 108F in the summer. We figured it kept the rifraf out.

Truth be told, the first time I really took a deep, comfortable breath after we had children was last May when our youngest was married; three for three with great men.

You guys are doing a great job with the kids.

Love,

dad

Angie  – (1/23/2008 03:59:00 PM)  

I've had the same thing happen and I'm not sure how to handle it either. I actually invited the mom and her son over to our house first (so I could get to know her) but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe she thinks that I'm weird for doing that. It's so hard to let go. I will be checking back for any advice that you get.
Angie

Hilty Sprouts!  – (1/23/2008 07:47:00 PM)  

I have no advice and I'm scared out of my wits for the same reasons! How in the world do you trust people you don't know with your kids? I faced the same thing when the kids first went to daycare but at least in that situation you can do background checks and call references. I am not looking forward to this stage when Noelle goes to Kindergarten next year.

Jen

Jackie Borget –   – (1/24/2008 10:40:00 PM)  

Gosh, after reading your exchange I wonder how you have let Ben come over here?!!! I just mean I feel like a bad mom cause I have sent Carter off to poeple's houses before and I have NOT asked any of the questions you asked. Maybe I need to be a little more cautious, eh?
Glad I am finally looking at your blog! It is soo fun I am thinking I need to make one of my own! how have you found the time to make it so cute? Keep up the good mothering and I will work on mine!
Jackie, the crazy mom behind you!

Anonymous –   – (1/30/2008 06:06:00 PM)  

Are you for real? I have now found someone just like me about 6 years ago though. Thank you for being that mom!!

I have let go of my boys by constantly reminding myself that God is their everything. He is their mom, dad, protector etc.

Thank you for being you and letting the boys play. They had a wonderful time together.

In God we trust, Jo Ann (Jonathan's Mom

PS Can Ben come over and play again soon?

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