On our walk to school this morning, I had to throw my hands up to slow down a car coming toward us. A Mini Pinscher had got loose, and he was darting back and forth across the road like he’d just drank a bowl of Red Bull. He must have crossed the street 16 times in a second and a half. It was nuts.
My son and I watched him as he ran toward us, flew off in the other direction, and then cornered himself in a flower bed of the school, only to dart off again when a student walked toward him. As this continued, the dog looked increasingly panicked and confused.
Five minutes later, after I’d left both of my kids, I saw a guy calling for the dog. But he wasn’t rushing after him. He would crouch down, open his arms, and look calmly at the dog, waiting for him to come. I didn’t stick around to see what happened. Hopefully, there won’t be a flat Pinscher in the road tomorrow.
This reminded me of when I first left home, and it made me think of my own kids venturing off into the big wide world on their own. Someday they will go. And there will probably be days, maybe months, when they feel lost and panicked.
But as a parent, eventually you have to let them run off and get lost and feel scared. That’s part of life. You can’t keep up with them all the time, and you’re not supposed to. What you can do is try to give them the tools to navigate out there on their own. And let them know that you’ll always be there, with arms wide open, for whenever they’re ready to come home.
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