This evening my Critter did not want to join the rest of us in attending Varmint’s softball practice. So I left my smart, resourceful 10-year-old at home running around the yard as Batman with hardly a second thought. He’d stay out of trouble for an hour, after all, right?
I was confident he’d be just fine.
Picture me, 45 minutes later at the softball field chatting with the other softball mommies when one of them asked me where my Critter was. I said, “He’s at home. Didn’t want to come.”
And the look of sheer horror on her face made me blink.
“You left him at home….ALONE?” she asked incredulously.
“Uh, sure!” I replied, feeling a little awkward. “He’s been able to handle that kind of responsibility for a couple of years now.” (The legal age to be left alone in our state is 8, provided there are resources nearby for the child.)
Again, she looked at me with horror. I could feel my cheeks get hot. I hate hot cheeks! They usually precede me saying something asinine.
“I could never do that!” She gasped.
“Why not? When I left him, he was playing Batman happy as a pig in poop. He was launching himself off the deck to see if his cape would have any aerodynamic ability whatsoever, and having a ball in the process, so why would I drag him away?”
“But what if something happens and he gets hurt?”
My cheeks were on fire, now.
“He knows to call me or 911. He’s a pretty smart cookie.”
But about that time I remembered that I didn’t have my phone. I had accidentally left it at home. Sure, My Captain had his phone with him (he was there with me and Varmint, helping to coach the pitchers) so Critter could get a hold of one of us if need be. But I didn’t have MY phone, and I knew I would be the first one my baby called.
And So the seed of doubt was planted. She got me! That other mommy…. Mommied ME!
My overactive imagination began running amuck. What if at that very moment he was laying in the yard with one….nay..two broken fibulae and couldn’t call me? What if he was passed out from the pain and poisonous snakes were advancing on his little body. What if he had hit his head and was slowly dying of intracranial hemorrhage whispering, “I love you mom! I’m sorry! But at least I didn’t get your carpet bloody!” to the empty air. All Alone.
My hands were already in my pocket reaching for my keys as I dashed to my car, bellowing to My Captain on the ball field that I was leaving and would see him at home.
I went from being confident in my kid to having absolute irrational fear for my kid in 0.02 seconds.
Like any other good mother would do.
And, of course, when I got home, he was fine.
And still jumping off the deck at Mach 3.
Because he’s Batman.