My puppy’s coloring reminds me a little of a baby fawn. As I watched him play in the woods behind our house, I noticed how he blended in the fall foliage. While our son enjoys hunting with my brother and my father, my husband and I remain ignorant of hunter’s ways. Brian commented that Rascal might need a vest when we go to the mountains. I personally thought that a hunters’ orange collar might suffice. Then I doubted myself. What is the collar isn’t enough, do they make orange vests for beloved family pets? When we leave our safe little piece of woods in suburbia, would Rascal need more protection than more “worldly” hunting dogs usually get? Would the hunters mistake my little furry baby for a deer or other critter? Would he get injured?
Being the constantly worrying mother of teens, I began to transfer those thoughts over to parenting. Will my sheltered children be prepared for the world when they leave suburbia? Have the lessons that my husband and I so tirelessly rendered gotten through their thick skulls? Will they need their own version of a hunters’ orange vest? Will that invisible cloak of parental love be enough to keep them safe in the bigger world/forest of people? What if they live so far away from me that I can’t get to them with my Super Mom cape? When we have to substitute a phone call, a text, or even a planned visit.
I remember all too well the first time my parents dropped me off at college. My Mother said she cried the entire two hour ride home from Tuscaloosa, AL. I wonder if she saw that I had begun to sprout wings. Did she see the excitement in my eyes as I realized that there was more to the world than her beloved small town in Alabama? I think so. She wasn’t nearly as excited about my discovery as I was. Did she worry that those big city kids would be less than kind to her sheltered little girl? Probably so.
My Momma wasn’t the first and definitely not the last to worry about their children as they jump from the safety of home. She was probably wishing for some sort of protection. Maybe not a hunter’s orange vest, but just some assurance that I would be ok. I surely didn’t always make the best choices, but I survived to give my parents revenge. You see, now I face the same worries. I will be sending one off to college in just under 2 years! At least I have my dog. I think I’ll get him a new collar today.