My oldest son is in Grade 4 we have a two-minute walk to the elementary school. I have been trying to give him more freedom. I wondered is it time to let him walk to school by himself? I just feel that there are so many what if’s? What if someone snatches him? What if a careless driver fails to see him crossing the street? What if there is a bully lurking in the corner? What if? What if?
It was just this past week, the morning was cold, and he had to be at school early before everyone else to work on a school project. I took the leap and decided to give him just a little bit more freedom. I walked him across the busy street letting him walk to school alone. I turned my back and went home.
I sighed, and hurried back home to get on with the morning and organize the littlest for the first bell.
It was later in the morning the house was quiet, I was reaching for my second cup of coffee, and the phone rang. I saw the schools number on the phone and felt a heavy thud in my stomach.
“Hello. We are wondering where Alex is this morning?”
“He is at school.”
“No the teacher has him marked as absent.”
I felt a slight rush of panic my worst nightmare had come true and I was beginning to workout a plan in my head, “No I walked him half way to school he should be there he had an early morning project.”
“Oh! The teacher marked him as absent. She must have forgot.No worries then…”
I felt no worries! I felt a surge of panic!What if the teacher was right? What if he was absent? What if he was abducted?
“Could you do me a favor and just make sure he is at the school? I only walked him halfway, I didn’t see him walk in, and now just want to double check that he is with the group?”
My helicopter blades were spinning like mad! I panicked thinking maybe he didn’t make it to school.The what ifs swirled in my head. I kicked myself I should have walked him the whole way.
The secretary returned to the phone and replied, “It’s all good! We found him! He is with the group!”
And it was with that assurance I felt a huge sigh of relief.
In this day and age there are so many what ifs! As a child I remember roaming the streets with my friends, walking home from school alone, and hanging in the trees in the woods. We weren’t supervised and we all made it out unscathed for the most part.
So what has changed? Do you have a what if?