Skull and crossbones on the map of life

Danger is on my mind, and not just because my son formerly known as Danger Baby is now a father wanting to shield his tiny baby girl from all possible trouble and woe from here to infinity. He is entering the journey of parenthood for which there has never been a map or manual. GPS, girl protection and security, doesn't have an authoritative, calming, automated voice.

Been addressing the fire ant mounds on our special path with a hopefully potent product. I'll be sending little families out to walk on the path soon, and fire ants are not welcome. Our program is about paths and maps. I'm fretting about introducing the concept of danger into the journey.

My goal is reminding parents and introducing children to the idea that being safe while exploring requires alertness, preparedness, and common sense. We won't be climbing Everest or crossing Death Valley, but we will be pretending with treasure maps.

Growing up in the Sixties the neighborhood kids worried a lot about black widow spiders and quicksand. Blame it on Carolyn Keene and David Lean. Danger Baby had Bambi's mother and the forest fire on his mind for months after he saw that Disney movie.

We live in a country where kids can't walk to the corner without parents being investigated by child protective services. Now I get why the characters in Disney movies are usually orphans. Parent-less kids get to watch for danger and make decisions themselves. What an exciting concept!

There are thorns out there in the wild world, and poison ivy. There are snakes, mostly nonvenomous, but still, and a whole lotta fire ants. It just goes downhill from there. You gotta learn to cross the street, to check the weather forecast before climbing mountains, take proper precautions when meeting lust, be alert to identity theft and investment scams.

That's the thing about life! While we are skipping along to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow it is prudent to wear closed-toed shoes. There has to be a middle path between "Gasp! What if..." and "OMG whatever."

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

Congratulations on the sweet baby girl!

I've heard about those fire ants. Thank you for alerting/protecting the world!

seana graham said...

Really nice piece, Nancy. I was trying to think of things I was actually afraid of when I was a kid, and though we had definitely been given the "Don't get into a car with a stranger spiel," I was more of the forewarned is forearmed mindset than actively afraid of such encounters. I think I probably worried more about what was going to happen to Timmy and Lassie than I did about myself. They were easier times, somehow.

Collagemama said...

Thank you, Seana and Kathleen. A good night's sleep did not resolve my concerns, so finding your comments this morning was a real gift.