When You've Got to Go, You've Got to Go...With Mom

"Mom, I've gotta go...NOW!" The declaration of a full bladder in a public place makes me uneasy. My soon to leak son is nine, but I still won't let him go into a men's bathroom.. alone. We live in one of the largest human trafficking cities in the world and until he is armed with age and height, the stall next to me is where he will be.

Today at the library I witnessed a mom arguing with her six-year-old son about this same issue, but she, however, has a different perspective. I watched her pee filled son beg her not to make him go into the men's restroom alone. The impatient, young mother belittled her son's concern and fussed about his lack of bravery. The little tot stood firm with crossed legs and refused to pass the threshold into the urinal-lined dungeon. He would not budge and with great frustration, the mom rolled her eyes, slung open the women's bathroom door and marched the short boy into a private stall.

How sad.

Why doesn't she consider that his fear might be warranted? Is it such a bad thing that the child does not want to be locked in a room with strange men and his pants down? Why the rush to make a boy do this alone? Childhood is fleeting and our children look to us for protection and boundaries. We must not fail our children. They need us. I have never seen or heard of a twelve-year-old boy ask to go into the women's bathroom for protection. This desire to be covered will pass when the boy grows. His natural inclination to be a man will take over as the brief season of childhood passes. It's OK, no it's good, if  young boys want to stay under our wings and within our vision when the need to go strikes.

Love understands and protects.