Monday, June 2, 2014

Excitement I Didn't Need...

It's always something, right?

So, Saturday afternoon I decided to do some exploring. Gassed up the Harley, headed out to do a little bit of touring in my new state. Made it all the way to Washington's birthplace, saw the sights, etc.

Side note: VA has some pretty rockin' riding.

Anyways, I rolled into the homestead around dinner time to find the Mrs. in a rather concerned mood. BabyGirl G. had gone out earlier to ride her scooter around the neighborhood, and had failed to return at the pre-determined hour. She wasn't *that* late, but late enough that the Mrs. was getting concerned.

Traded one helmet for another, and I struck out around the neighborhood to see if I could find her.

After about a half-hour of checking her favorite haunts, I was starting to get a little concerned. Dusk was rapidly approaching, and I was not looking forward to the idea of having to look for her after dark. My dad has an expression that was pretty fitting at this point: "I'd rather be lucky than good" - as I came out of a side-street onto one of the cross-roads to the subdivision, I see BabyGirl G. walking down the sidewalk.

She decided to go exploring while on her scooter, and went down a trail in the woods. She came to a small stream, and decided that she ought to take her shoes off rather than risk getting them wet. She followed the stream for a bit, then came out in an unfamiliar part of the subdivision. She made a left when she should have made a right, and wound up walking on the outskirts of the subdivision for nearly an hour before getting her bearings (she *is* my daughter, after all)...

Long story short, she learned a valuable lesson. We gave her a set area where she could ride her scooter for a reason, and if she wants to go exploring, which we encourage, she needs to both let us know and wear the right gear (right now we're hoping she didn't come across any poison ivy...). I suspect she'll be a lot more careful the next time she heads out (which is going to be a while, because she's getting a short break because she broke the rules on her area)...

I can't imagine how parents of missing kids handle it, I really don't. She was honestly and truly missing for maybe an hour at best, and I was just about to call in the National Guard. I think I may have to join the clergy at some point, too, with the promises and such I was making with The Big Guy for the safe return of my little girl.

Would I change anything? Interestingly enough, not really. I think that the urge to explore should be nurtured - although I did tell Baby Girl G. that she should let us know if she wants to explore the woods and she should be dressed accordingly. I also think it's important to let kids make the wrong decision in many instances, and to learn the consequences of those decisions (all provisos in place, of course; I'm not saying they need to be abducted by space aliens or anything).

I also think she'll think long and hard before wandering off - she was pretty frazzled when I found her.

Being a parent is a tightrope act. I'm sure some are horrified that we let our 10 (almost 11) year old daughter wander the neighborhood unsupervised without even a cell phone. Others will scoff, thinking that getting lost and wandering in the woods should be normal for a kid. We are, no surprise, somewhere in the middle there. I think it's important for kids to explore, and to make bad decisions so they can learn consequences.

Just wish it didn't come with an adrenaline surge like it does...

That is all.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

9 comments:

Dave H said...

"I think it's important for kids to explore, and to make bad decisions so they can learn consequences."

It's how we all learn, Jay. But yes, it's harder than hell on the old folks' tickers.

juvat said...

I'm glad it worked out the way it did. And as Dave said, it is hard on the parents, but that's what you get the big bucks for.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately everything turned out okay. Other the other side of the spectrum you could have been this poor father: http://gawker.com/man-fined-given-probation-for-making-son-walk-1-mile-h-1583710525

I completely disagree with this Judge and she should be froced to strike the record and pay the father back in triple from her personal checking account.

That's all.

DO

Anonymous said...

You may not want to face the fact that she is growing up, but it may be time to upgrade her title from
BabyGirl G. to YoungGirl G.

Old NFO said...

You have to let them 'explore'... as hard as that is...

abnormalist said...

A year or two ago, I was home for the day in place of the wife (who is a full time Mom) as she had an appointment on the other side of town, and needed someone to watch the kids.

At the appointed hour the (then 7 years) oldest daughter didn't arrive. She would usually got off the bus with a friend, walk the half block to the house and let herself in with her key. 30 minutes later, still no child...

I started calling around. Friend was home, got off the bus with oldest, and thought she walked home. Ok, adrenaline is kicking in. This is a "safe" suburban neighborhood, kids are smart follow the usual rules, so WHAT HAPPENED TO MY DAUGHTER!

Call all the neighborhood friends, none have seen her since the bus ride. Dads starting to freak. Ready to grab a shotgun, younger sister and a stroller and go for a wander through the neighborhood.

About 5 minutes before I do this and call out the swat team, a car pulls into the driveway. Turns out oldest made a new friend at school and after getting off the bus walked to her house without bothering to tell anyone.

Yeah a lesson was learned that day.

.45ACP+P said...

Simple rule in our house: don't do things that scare Mommy. That rule never changed although the parameters changed with age as to what was a scare. Dad was less likely to jump off the alien abduction pier som Mommy was the trigger for consequences

SJ said...

Sounds like a real scare.

(Is this a chance to teach her a good follow-up in orienteering?)

Mark/GreyLocke said...

Kids need to explore and look around. However MRS/GMRS radio's make it so dad doesn't have a heart attack. With a base station unit at the house.