protecting the gift

as the days get shorter and work days get busier, my morning exercise often turns into evening exercise. thumbs down when you are not a fan of the dark and you're a scardey-cat and live in the country without street lights and few neighbors. when it is dark, no amount of ghetto loud music can drown out my jitters. 

last night a strange car passed me. u-turned and passed again.  then it passed again. i got spooked and phoned home. my husband  escorted me the last half mile. 

irrational fear, i know. cancer, car accidents and kidnapping are mine. i know, kidnapping a remote possibility... a little too much nancy grace.

when bennett was born, i struggled with postpartum. it was the first and only time i have felt true depression. coupled  with the depression was anxiety... major anxiety. i 'm already anxious and a baby placed my anxiety under a magnifying glass... in the blazing sun. i had a crippling fear  my baby would be kidnapped. 

i'm now confident any kidnapper would have returned him to his rightful owners around age of 14 ;) 

anyway... in the haze of new motherhood, this fear was suffocating. our first night out, this fear brought me to tears. irrational i knew even then. weeks later and no relief... i was medicated for anxiety... slowly the suffocation subsided. i no longer obsessed about my newborn  being abducted by a stranger and  kept for years (14 to be exact) in a box under a bed! 

my cousin recommended i read Protecting the Gift.
it's a book about fear, human instinct and protecting your children.

 i loved the reinforcement that mothers should trust their intuition of fear over their logical mind when it comes to danger.   the book makes several references to animal instinct. antelope running when they first sense danger. not seeing danger, sensing danger. 

another note that stuck in my mind was this:

what should your child do when they are lost? find a policeman? the book says no because most young children can’t tell an employee from a shopper or a policeman from the store security guard (and security guards are rarely hired for their people skills or empathy.  ted bundy... uhhmm a security guard). a child could wander around for a long time before finding a policeman. try to find a mother. mothers are more likely to have the time and the emotional drive to help a lost child. 
almost seventeen years later and i am still anxious about my kids safety. we have constant conversations about strangers and the importance of trusting your instinct. protecting the gift was incredibly eye-opening for me and completely changed the way i talk to my kids about safety in general. 

along with Power of a Praying Parent and  Dare- Discipline,   Protecting the Gift should also go home with all  new mothers.

Clare said...

We had a Cub Scout meeting about safety and when the police man told the kids that they should never talk to strangers, even a mom in the park with her child, I almost jumped out of my skin. I've always told my kids that if they need help to find a mom with kids. They are absolutely the safest way to go.

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