Well I feel as the other half of Cletus’ parents, I should respond as well. I think Rich & I differ a tad on our beliefs on this one. I think that other people can hold Cletus, maybe not right after he is born, but I am not afraid of that. Maybe some of the older relatives shouldn’t hold our baby, but as long as you are not sick & washed your hands, I think it is ok. I think babies need to be put down sometimes. I don’t want to get in the habit of holding them to get them to sleep & then they won’t go to sleep except in your arms. Now granted, there are going to be days when that’s all I want to do, but that’s ok.
I think the main part where we differ is when they get older. Unfortunately, things aren’t like they used to be. I think there are a lot more dangers now then there were when we were kids. I don’t want to let our kids just run around all day & not be in contact with them. I don’t think it’s a good idea to just let them take off on their bikes for hours. We have a sex.ual predi.tor in our neighborhood right now. That is very scary to me. I won't even walk by myself at night near that house. Just down the road a couple miles another pred.itor was arrested & taken to a mental hospital. Things are just not the same as they used to be. I do think that letting them play at other people’s houses is fine, as long as we know the parents. I just do not feel comfortable letting them have the freedom we took advantage of. I know that both Rich & I took advantage of that freedom & got into trouble. Sometimes we got caught, sometimes we didn’t. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to Cletus that I could have prevented by maybe being a little overprotective. Now once they get to be older, the freedoms may get a little better, but sickos still like teenagers too.
One thing I think we have agreed on is the family computer will stay in the open area where we can see anything & will have parental locks. His cousin had free reign of their computer at one time & boy did she take advantage of it. I think with better technology comes more responsibility on the parents to do the right thing & protect their children. It is easy to do & not too expensive.
I will be honest to say I will do everything in my power to protect Cletus, but in the same time I think you can do that without taking away their childhood. I want them to fall down, get hurt & learn to keep going. I think failure & disappointments are important to learn from. I want Cletus to get dirty, play & have fun. Explore the outdoors, but respect the limitations that we set that we feel are safe. I want Cletus exposed to germs so he doesn’t get sick constantly like my friend from my old work. She was a germaphobe & her kids are constantly sick and they are now immune to some anti-biotics because they take them constantly.
Being a kid is a fun part of life. Probably the best part of life so far for me personally. No responsibilities, summers off & fun times to be had. But now as a parent-to-be, I have to look at things thru different lenses & see that there are dangers out there. Cletus will need to learn to respect the dangers & so will we. As well as learn to respect Cletus just being a kid.