Monday, September 18, 2017

The Balance

Side One
In fact when my older two were the little ones, I often shut down their curiosity to meet new people. It wasn't that hard because they are naturally reticent kids. Preferring to sit back and observe a situation rather than jump right in. That made me feel safer for them too. Because I knew the world is big and scary. So the less we interacted with strangers the better in my opinion. Especially when I was a younger mom and less open myself. I wanted, and still do want my kids and family to be safe. That's a pretty natural feeling we all have. Even meeting new kids was something I was hesitant about. What will my kids be exposed to? How can I protect them from others? How can I maintain their purity and innocence if I don't know who they are with. It was actually pretty ridiculous and exhausting to try and micromanage all of that for my boys. I was living in my own creation of worst case scenarios that imprisoned myself and my kids. 

Of course, I still want my boys and girl to be safe, but I also know now that a lot of my hesitation came out of fear and controlling nature. I was so determined to protect my kids from every evil in the world that I was also preventing them from experiencing the joys of the world. 

So how do I change that? How do I learn to keep my kids safe but also open to the possibilities of the world? 
So here we are six years later. I've added a daughter to our family. We've moved a couple more times. We have school now (pubic school even!) My kids are gone from for hours at a time. We live in an apartment complex so our "yard" is shared by all the other kids and dogs in the neighborhood. If the kids are gonna get some exercise and play, it's gonna be with the kids that are outside. Most of those don't have any kind of parental supervision. And really? I'm ok with that. So my kids are often out their without adult supervision too. Even our daughter gets to go out and play with the other young ladies in the neighborhood. We have our boundaries set up. But for the most part, my kids are out their joining with the hubbub of a neighborhood gang. 

So how did I get there? How did I go from complete anxiety and fear necessitating complete hovering and control of my kids lives to letting them run thru the neighborhood with little supervision? 


Love has helped me let go of the need to control my kids. I saw how telling them no and let's not was causing them to fear the world like I did. I know the world is still big and scary. I also know that if that's the only message my kids here, then they will always approach the world with defensiveness instead of with open-hearts.

As I have learned to let go of my fears, I have let go of the belief that I need to control my situation. I know that control is an illusion and that really, the best protection I have for myself and my kids is God's covering hand over our lives.

Yes, we are still safe. My kids still don't go into kids houses if I don't know the parents. They aren't roaming out of ear shot. My kids are also older, so that helps a lot. We have the conversations we need to have to make sure they are safe and feel secure in standing up for themselves.

But we also practice love. When the kids want to meet someone new in the parking lot, we say yes. When they want to go to the park with a new friend from school, we make it happen as we can.

Our family has chosen love over fear. 

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