We visited the gym as usual today. And as usual, the older two scampered in to their tae kwon do class and I dropped Caroline off in the child care before heading in for a short workout. At least, I tried to drop her off. But our regular child care worker wasn't here, and the door was locked. I inquired at the front desk. The new manager, who bends over backward to be nice to me ever since I complimented him on the recent improvements in the childcare, asked a teenaged staff member who wasn't busy to fill in in child care until our Regular showed up. Problem solved. In went my daughter, and off went I.
The teenaged staff member? Was a guy. And my daughter was the only child in the room.
I tried, y'all. I actually made it into the gym and up onto the elliptical trainer, trying to outtalk my gut, reasoning that the door to childcare always remained open, that anyone walking by could see through the windows, that the chances of any funny business occurring were quite slim, etc. I even, I'm sort of ashamed to admit, used that worn adage, "Lord, she's in Your hands."
Gosh, I just cringed as I wrote that.
Because the Lord had something very clear to say to me about that. "Yes, but YOU are her parent, and I've lent her to YOU. My hands, in this situation, are human hands."
Normally, I'm a well-behaved mama. I mind my manners. I don't make waves. Most of the time.
There is a time to be nice and a time to speak up. And what do we parents have left if we refuse to acknowledge and follow our God-given instincts?
I hopped right back off that elliptical and went back to the childcare, prepared to cancel my workout. But the gym director had just arrived in her office across the hall.
"Are you going to be here for a while?" I asked.
"No, I was just going back out. Do you need something?" She replied.
"Yes. You see, I dropped my daughter off in childcare, but I don't generally leave her alone with guys."
The words were hardly out of my mouth when she was nodding with the greatest of understanding. She took the situation in hand immediately, and within five minutes both she and the manager had come and hunted me down in the gym, assuring me that they had pulled a female staff member from front desk duty to man -- or in this case, wo-man -- the childcare fort.
Parents, can we make a pact? Can we agree that we'll advocate for our kids, even when it feels awkward or when Logic and Statistics jump into the arena against our own hearts? (Not to throw the book at you, but if you haven't read Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane), please put your Big Boy pants on and do so.)
Our kids are unspeakably worth it.
[P.S. Someone emailed me about having trouble leaving comments. Not to grub for comments or anything, but if anyone else is experiencing such difficulty, will you please email me so I can