It's always a risk.
Dropping him off at school, waving to teachers I only know and trust because the school seems to know and trust them. Letting her visit family, a whole week apart from me, without a mother to keep eye out. Just sending her out the front door with a ball and a wave.
I've heard of this happening, mothers who are overwhelmed by fear and anxiety for their children. They keep the door locked and the blinds closed, not willing to take the chance. Because who knows? Who knows what might happen, who might prey, how they might disapear or get hurt or...?
It's enough to make any parent, no matter how sane or prepared, go crazy.
This week the papers are filled with these stories, of coaches and counselors and teachers, lying and hurting and threatening. My stomach hurts and I look at them, imagining their cries without realizing it. Why even leave the house, I think? I want to keep them all safely tucked in nook and nest, away from the world, away from harm, away from pain.
It's futile, really. Who can live life that way? I protect them now but there will be heartbreak later, at 17 in the driveway, at 30 by the kitchen sink, at 45 in an empty house.
They long to stretch their growing legs and taste the summer breeze.
So I risk it. I open the door and let them go.
My eyes watch as they make their way into the wide open, praying the world will stay away just a little longer.