He wanted to bail on the softball photography session that his sister was in and head around to the other side of the complex to play on the playground.
I would not let him go.
"Why not?" he said. "Don't you trust me?"
It got me thinking: Why didn't I let him go?
I told him it is because he's had multiple broken bones this past year, including a broken wrist obtained on those very same monkey bars. I did not want to be so far away, just in case. There were two buildings between us and the playground. I had no line of sight.
But that wasn't the only reason.
I trust him, to a point. However, he is a boy, a pre-teen boy, and that age group isn't known for its stellar decision-making skills. Yes, I might have let his older sister go at the same age, but she was (and is) a mature kid for her age. Is he? Sometimes, but not always. Am I being reverse-sexist? Maybe.
There is a bigger issue: I don't trust society at large. Not alone with my kids.
I know there are other parents over there, many of whom I know and who would bring him to me if he were hurt. I still can't let him out of my sight.
I'm too scared to let him go.
Several years ago, the son of a person whom I know was abducted in broad daylight while walking home from his bus stop. It was my hometown. The stop is on my old bus route home. I could picture the exact area when the story hit the news.
It is an incredibly rural area. Everyone knows everyone.
If kidnapping can happen there, it can happen anywhere.
That story ended as well as it could have, thanks to a sharp-eyed teen and excellent police work.
It has made me forever over-cautious with my children. I need to see them if I am with them. It is a completely irrational thing. The chances of stranger abduction are slim. My kids know the rules of what to do.
I don't trust. I can't. Not yet.
I'm going to have to learn to let go, because I can't watch them forever. So maybe next time I'll let him go to the playground. And I'll try to trust. A bit.