Readers! Want to know what happened? Read on!
Dear Free-Range Kids: It’s so inspiring to hear that there are others out there who refuse to freak out at every little thing. I am a first time mom to a now 4-month-old and I don’t sterilize his pacifiers when he drops them on the ground, I refuse to ever use a shopping cart cover, and a month ago, I did the unthinkable. I left my baby with a stranger while I used the bathroom at Starbucks.
My son and I were about three hours into a road trip heading back home, and I needed to use the bathroom, and he REALLY needed to get out of his car seat. Hence, a Starbucks stop. I looked around and found an older, grandmotherly lady sitting with a mom-like lady. I approached them and said, “Excuse me, I really have to use the restroom. Would you like to hold a cute baby for a moment?” (Thankfully he wasn’t screaming any more since he was out of his car seat. And he IS pretty cute, if I do say so myself.)
They were surprised and delighted. I used the restroom, and 30 seconds later, reappeared, my baby none the worse for wear.
I sat with the ladies who were thrilled to have a cuddle with a boy who is very smiley and social. It turned out the older lady IS a grandmother, and the other lady was her daughter. We had a lovely chat for about 20 minutes, and the grandma even insisted I take a picture of her and my son on her cellphone. The whole experience made their day and I found myself marveling at the fact that such a little thing, approaching some perfectly sweet-looking strangers for help was something most parents today would absolutely freak out over.
I haven’t told many of my friends for fear they will think I am an irresponsible parent, but in reality, I think it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and I’m determined to not live my life in fear thinking that child molesters lurk in every corner (of Starbucks!), just waiting to snatch my babe away. Thank you for your book and your blog and a return to sanity.
You’re welcome! Thanks for a charming tale that shouldn’t be so surprising, but to many folks probably is!