A few days back I shared the story of Ducky’s first non-stroller walk in the neighborhood. To recap, it went something like this.
1)walk six feet, sit down and look at a stick for 5 minutes
2)get up and walk 10 feet, sit down and hit 2 rocks together
3)get up and walk 9 feet in the other direction
4)play chicken with an oncoming Nissan until Daddy pulls her out of the way
5)hear a doggie in the window and make a beeline for a stranger's house
6)cry because Daddy won't let her pet the unknown doggie in the stranger's house
7)walk 15 feet pinballing 3 times from one side of the street to the other
8)sit down and play with 2 completely different rocks on the ground
9)repeat at shorter distance intervals ass fatigue increases until she is too tired and Daddy carries
her the rest of the way home
10)get home and somehow be a bundle of energy again
The next day, I had a brilliant idea which was going to resolve the issues of oncoming cars and the distractions of unknown dogs and kids on the route. We are blessed to live in a county that spends significant resources providing green spaces for residents to use walking, biking, playing, sight-seeing, and picture taking. The Rollins Savannah is one of those places and happens to be 2 miles from my house. It's quite perfect. As we arrived there we found a sign at the mouth of the trail which made me pause to prioritize which gave me pause. Pictured here is the sign:
Really!? Coyotes?? You have marked all the “known dens?” This seemed unreal to me. How can I go from getting nervous about cars and probably harmless dogs barking from peoples’ homes and then run to a "safe" place where they need signs to keep your eyes out for what I can only assume are baby-snatching coyotes. Ridiculous. This reinforced what should have been an obvious lesson for me. When it comes to kids, like most things in our lives, there is no such thing as safe, only safer. As a Dad that thought is scarier than I ever imagined it being but as a person it is what keeps life interesting. If absolute safe existed, life would be awfully boring because to leave that could seem foolhardy. Having no complete refuge, no inexorably safe, makes is OK to take risks. I have the responsibility to take well calculated risks for me and for Ducky and to try with all that I have to find choices that offer acceptable risk for the experience but there is no capital “S” Safe to be found so risk is an automatic.
Might as well try to enjoy the ride!