My son and I needed to deliver something to a friend's house not far away. He suggested biking, but I hesitated. The place is on the edge of town, the road winds a bit, and the shoulder is narrow and made of gravel. One slip on the bike, and he'd be road kill.
So we walked. Not far. In no time, we were heading home when suddenly I paid a graceless tribute to gravity and landed with a slam in the gravel. I felt like a complete idiot. My stylish blingy flip-flops ripped, as did my skin.
Fortunately, my son did not take the opportunity to laugh at me. He helped me up and commented, "Wow, you weren't kidding. That gravel can be slick." Even walking.
It got me thinking (as pain often does) about the dangers of life. I'd been concerned that something wasn't safe for him. It hadn't occurred to me that I would be in danger. I would not be recklessly speeding along. My slow steadiness would assure that I got there in one unbloodied piece.
There are other dangers of life that worry me far more than twisted ankles, jammed wrists or rocks embedded in my calves. The spiritual dangers that wound the inside. It's easy, as an adult, to watch out for the kids. The boundaries of safety are clear. Stay away from this kind of movie or TV show, don't read that kind of book. You're too young. Avoid certain social situations where temptations abound. You're not mature enough for that yet. I can see that kind of gravel, and steer him away from it.
But then do I march right out there into the gravel myself, foolishly thinking that my older "steadier" self can hack it? I can fall just as fast, and generally twice as hard. Gravel is slick no matter how old you are. Temptation is slick, too.
I'm thinking it's a good general rule of thumb that if something is "inappropriate for younger audiences", it's probably inappropriate for me. Over-confidence in my own life experience or maturity might cause me to think I won't slip, but if I'm laxed that day and wearing blingy flip-flops instead of solid walking shoes with good tread....? Well, accidents happen. I'm a fool to think I'll never fall.
Naw, better to stick to the standards I stick on my kids.
Posted by lia london, author of "The Circle of Law" you can find her at parablesandponderings-lia.blogspot.com