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Friday, May 20, 2011

Fear

Many times a week, I feel true fear. The kind of fear that causes me to scream and immediately sets my heart pounding. It all stems from having a highly active, intensly curious son who has no awareness of danger.

Not thirty minutes ago, I heard his voice babbling away from an unfamiliar spot. It wasn't coming from any of the sound or video monitors we have in the house. I followed the voice, looking out our locked kitchen door and saw him dangling from a second-story window which he had managed to open. He'd beaten our system, and for the first time experienced an open indow on that floor. No supervision was in sight. He's been waiting for those circumstances to arricpve for years.

I screamed in genuine fear, a sound this house knows well exactly because of situations like this, and I ran as fast as I could to the room where that window was located.

"Please, God," I prayed. "Please don't let him fall!"

As it turns out, he had heard my scream and thought that he was in trouble. When I opened that door, I found him backed far away from it, holding his fingers in his ears in anticipation of my yelling.

How do you yell at him? What do you say? It has been nearly a decade of insane attraction to knives, fire, traffic--without any appreciation of the dangers involved.

Of course, at nearly ten, he could have developed the skills to handle an open window. But, I don't know any parent that would want to take those chances. So, for now, my plan of attack is to still treat him like a toddler. Lock everything I can, and always remember to look over my shoulder as I try to stay a few steps ahead of him.

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