I came home from running a quick errand and noticed that Jude and his friend Kadence were not in the back yard. I asked Rob where they were, and he said that just a couple of minutes ago they had asked to walk down to the end of the street and back. Jude does this a lot (the end of the street is only three houses away) so I didn't think much of it. A couple more minutes passed when I realized that I had just driven down the street and hadn't seen them. I decided to go across the street and see if they had gone to Kadence's house, but they hadn't. I walked down into the Cul-de-sac to see if they were playing down there, but again I found no kids. I started to get a little bit nervous - but told myself that Jude was a really great kid. It was that thought that got me REALLY nervous. He is totally the kind of kid who would reply, "OF COURSE!" to the stranger that asks for help finding his lost dog. I checked a few other neighbor houses and still could not find them. Rob came out and jumped in his car while I imagined the call to the police.
Luckily Jude and Kadence were only two blocks away. Rob found them while canvassing the neighborhood, and as soon as Jude saw Rob there was fear and relief in his eyes. He knew he had gone too far and the first words out of his mouth were, "Yeah, I think we got a little lost." Rob guided them home and all was well, but it really got me to thinking.
I make up, play out, and resolve a LOT of situations in my head - and so many of them have to do with the safety of my kids. I have tried REALLY, REALLY hard this year to not be an over-protective mother, and do my best to keep an eye on my kids while giving them some sort of freedom. I still can't decide if I'm too conservative, or if I'm too easy going. Jude is a very mature five year old. What should I be allowing him to do on his own? Cross the street? Walk around the block? Ride his bike in the road? When I was in kindergarten I walked to school with another kindergartener, then walked home with one of my older siblings, but the thought of sending him and Kadence to school alone is ridiculously frightening to me. Maddie goes into second grade next year, and I'm not even sure I want her walking there. Am I SUPER paranoid? The school is only four very small blocks away...what's my deal?
If any of you have older kids, tell me how it all played out for you. There are a lot of other kids Jude's age that roam freely around the neighborhood - does that mean that Jude should too? I want HONEST answers!
Thank you, much!!
BDEM: Finding Jude
Water: 50 oz