Today, while walking our dog around the church parking lot the kids at the elementary school next door were out to recess. I always like when our walks happen at recess time because Khan loves, loves the kids.
There must have been a Christmas program too because several parents were parking at the church & walking over to the school.
There was also a police patrol car parked in the bus zone. This made me wonder if it's presence was because of the shooting last week. Such a tragic, senseless thing and I'm sure parents were happy to see the car right out in the open. (it's a parent thing)
While we were doing our laps some of the kids were gathering at the fence to watch Khan. (little kids & big dogs are a good mix) One small boy, probably 2nd grade, yelled "hey lady with the dog, come over here!" (I know- manners kid, manners!) So on our return lap I headed that way and said, "You know, if you want something a PLEASE works wonders." Well, we got allot of please and the kids wanted to know my dog's name and if he was a wolf, or a husky, or a... You get the picture. I love kids this age so while Khan sniffed all the little shoes lined up against the fence and wagged his tail in joy that he actually got to see the kids this time I answered questions for a minute.
That's about all we got before I hear the playground monitor yell, "Ah NO!- Hey! FOR THE CHILDREN'S OWN SAFETY, THEY CANNOT PET YOUR DOG!!!!" I looked passed all these little faces that immediately backed away from the fence as if sensing danger to see this woman standing about 100 ft. from us waving a clipboard around.
Sheesh lady! Why not just walk up to the fence and tell the kids it is against the rules for them to pet animals during recess? I'm thinking to myself, how do you know the kids were trying to pet the dog from way over there? Anyway I just told the kids, "sorry, your monitor said no." and walked away.
We did finish the walk but I can't help thinking now if every school employee is on edge because of potential danger and how much of that fear are the students going to absorb? I think we rob kids of innocence when we burden them with fear.
Don't get me wrong, I think protection and security for kids is and should be a top priority in every home and school and I do think rules should be obeyed and being alert to strangers is great, but I also think it's wrong to steal joy from a simple moment with harsh, fear-inducing language or acts. It would have been much more pleasant for the students & me if the lady would have just made the effort to walk over and remind the students there are rules at school that need to be followed. Telling them their safety was in jeopardy was not the way to go about removing the dog from their path.
Oh well. I'm glad my kids are grown and I don't have the burden of trying to walk the fine line of safety vs childhood anymore. Bad things happen, they are always going to happen and it's not something you can predict or control, but good things happen, they are always going to happen so let's focus on the good and let our kids keep at least a small portion of childhood innocence. There are plenty of grown-ups to watch over them.
Here's to happy kids & happy dogs everywhere! May walks & recess continue to be a bright spot in everyday, no matter how bad the rest goes!
"It is good to be children sometimes..."
March 2018 :)
2 weeks ago