So Gianni is at that age now where I start getting evil looks from other mommies in the park. Do you know what I mean? Or are you the one giving me the looks? Let me explain:
I am a very over protective mom, but like every parent, I have my pet peeves, soap boxes, personal creed, etc etc. For instance, I am very over protective about people watching my children. They could be crazed ax murderers, you just can't be too careful. I am very over protective about the things they learn and just who in the blazes they're learning it from. Thus the sheltering, er, I meant to say homeschooling. I am very over protective about what they put into their bodies and like the cruel mother I am I follow in my own cruel mother's footsteps and serve them homemade granola instead of Sugar Frosted Sprinkled Cocoa Puffed Candy Balls for breakfast (an important part of your nutritious breakfast... when served with eggs, oj, toast, and a side of vitamins). I am over protective about the little things like wearing seat belts and having a buddy to take to the restrooms and looking both ways twice before crossing the street. But here is what I am NOT over protective about:
Climbing. Climbing trees and play equipment is a child's job. You get strange looks if you leave this part of childhood for when you are fully grown. Trees are made for climbing, folks! And climbing high. Sure, they could fall out I suppose and then I suppose they would more than likely break a limb, but they could also find a way to fall off your couch while watching other children climb trees on tv, land on the coffee table, spill their snack which flings the fork into the air, only to be caught by their eyeball. Life has risks. Anyway, though, my kids are climbers and this somehow warrants every well meaning (translation, meddling) parent to approach me and kindly tattle on my own children because they not swinging properly on the swing at a perfect arc and in a five-point harness; they are three stories up in a tree, usually upside down. If I'm feeling a bit small from the rebuke I just got, I'll give a half hearted, 'Hey, girls, not too high, ok?' They've been climbing since they could walk and yes, something bad could happen. But it wouldn't be worse than having good old childhood fun taken away from them. Cora used to put boys twice her age to shame by the way she'd monkey up things, no fear, and they'd be staring at her trying to figure it out and just when they'd get up enough courage, their mommies would yell at them (their names are usually Percival or Egbert or Cyril or something equally manly) and they'd scuttle off with disappointment in their perfectly groomed faces. Now I know we need these boys to grow up to become poets and poodle hair dressers and fashion designers just as much as we need cowboys and truck drivers and alligator wrestlers because together they all make the world go 'round, but I just can't help being sorry for the boys and girls who are not allowed to play. Really play. With trees and mud and torn jeans and worms and swords and water guns and snakes and snails and puppy dog tails (preferably with the puppy dog still attached however, I do draw the line somewhere). If it's the end of a long summer day and my kids aren't grass stained and holey and smell like a gym sock and exhausted and hungry, then I have failed as a mom. Sometimes I think we as parents, need to have a good grounding ourselves, with a day of digging to China and building forts and having snow ball fights and just remembering what it felt like to play. Now, my kids are just as susceptible as anybody's at wanting to have someone else do the playing for them (i.e. video games and television and toys that tell you how you have to play them and there's only one right way). Those are the days I unplug everything that has a cord (exception: coffee maker), gently prod them out the back door and then cheerfully proceed to lock that same door until they get bored of knocking and hollering and yelling that they have to go to the bathroom and wander off in search of fun. Back in the olden days, by crikey, my friends and sis would take off first thing in the morning, pack a lunch, hop on the bikes or horses and be gone until dusk, when our bellies were growling for dinner and we could distantly hear Mom calling us home. And yes, it was uphill both ways and in the snow. Now that is a childhood. They only get one you know.