Leaves of DEATH--or--Fall, from a Mom's perspective

This morning while driving the kids to school, I had one of those Hello I’m A Neurotic Mom moments. Or maybe it’s just a I’m A Mom moment, the neurotic part already inferred (or is it implied? Whatever).

You must understand that last week I sat with my son through three hours of at the allergist’s. He handled the 38 pokes in the back okay but when they wanted to do twelve shots on his arm to figure out what he’s allergic to, he lost it. I mean a total freak out. And I experienced a moment when I sort of floated outside my body and envisioned punching one of the super nice nurses for even suggesting to hurt my son. I did not punch and Louis did not get the shots. We’ll have to wait until he’s older to figure this out.

When you become a parent, something weird and protective happens. If you didn’t have balls before (symbolically) you will grow them. And they’ll be big and make you limp. For example, if you see a bigger kid bullying your child, you will have no problem walking up to the parent of the bully and saying “Whoah. Wait a minute. You need to talk to your son because this is not appropriate.” And if that doesn’t work, you will have no problem challenging the parent to a rumble. And you will have a baseball bat in your trunk ‘just in case’.

I’m super protective of my kids, but there are times when this instinct gets a little out of control. Here is an example. I’m going to explain what happened in my brain here, but the actual conversation lasted all of thirty seconds.

As we were driving, the kids were in the back and I was chatting. I noticed the sun falling on the huge piles of leaves in the road, waiting for the EGR dump truck to come scoop them up. These piles are enormous. Like, kid playland. “Wow, guys, check out those piles of leaves!” I said thinking, good mom. Engage the kids in conversation.

LOUIS: “Whoah! Those are ginormous!”

ME: They are ginormous. Can you imagine if you climbed under those leaves?

SIMONE: Yeah! No one would find you!

MY BRAIN: (quietly in my head.) Good job, Tanya. Now the kids are going to play hid-n-seek in one of those leaf piles. They’re going to walk out of the house and think “Ha! We’ll hide from Mom” and then they’re going to go out in the street, which you have told them not to do, and they are going to hide in those leaves and you won’t be able to find them. Ever. Then the EGR truck is going to come scoop them up, and NO ONE WILL KNOW. And do you know what those trucks do with leaves? No? Smooshes them. Or burns them. Or god forbid, turns them into compost. Do you want your kids to be compost? This is the worst conversation ever! How could you even mention LEAVES to your children?

I scratched my nose and then said out loud…ME: Of course, you would never crawl into those leaves because they’re in the street.

SIMONE: That’s right. We could if they were in our yard.

ME: Yep. But not in the street.

MY BRAIN: Make sure they understand the dangers, Tanya!

ME: Because if you did crawl in the leaves, no one would find you and you might get scooped up by an EGR machine and smooshed and then made into compost.

The kids said nothing to that. I mean, there was pure silence in the back.

LOUIS: Yeah, Mom, we know.

ME: Okay then.

Yes. A shining moment in being a good mom. First encouraging my kids to notice the beauty around them, and then terrifying them good and plenty about it. I should have just warned them they’d poke their eye out.

Of course….there are plenty of sticks in those piles of menacing leaves….