Bar None

The front doors to Caleb's school now has locks on them. Only people with "key fobs" are able to enter. The key fobs are little keychain things that you swipe under a censor to unlock the glass front doors of his school.

I think it is utterly ridiculous.

If some crazed person is hell bent to cause harm to the school and its inhabitants, the glass doors are not hard to break through. This fosters a false sense of security amongst parents. So many parents of the kids are relieved that the school has the front doors locked now. I even heard some of them concerned that the locks weren't implemented yet when they were still in the phase of distributing keys. One dad was telling the director of the school that there ought to be BARS on the doors too. You know, to protect the kids I presume?

I'd like to take a moment to make note, that this school is located in the city of Irvine, CA. For the last eight to nine years, Irvine has been ranked as one of the safest cities in the country, having the lowest crime rate of any city for a population larger than 100,000. And we've got a dad muttering about putting up bars on the doors of a Montessori school. Really man? Can we all just CALM THE HECK DOWN?!

This school has had no special locks for the past 20 years. Everything has been ay-okay. No cause for concern.

We are so bent on keeping our kids under lock and key. Keeping them "safe". Guess what? If a maniac with ill intent wants to harm others, they will not let those cheesy locks to the front entrance get in the way of their evil plans. They can go around and hop the fence. Or they can just break the glass. Or they can find another way. But there is no reason for concern, and no reason for those ridiculous key fobs.

I think it just goes along with the whole Irvine suburban vibe. I'm sorry, I live in Irvine. I do not like it for a lot of reasons. Sure it's better than Tustin (sorry Tustinites...), but if I had the freedom to pick up and move, I would happily do so. I am here for other reasons, namely, my son. Who has a great school and a secure, stable life. He is close to his grandparents, and he has a nice place to live. He is blessed. We are blessed. It's just hard for this 26 year old single mama to live in a land of monochromatic doors and houses. I love cities with more uh...color and difference to them. I do not like Irvine. And I hope to move out of here within the next few years, God willing. But yea, locking the doors and having relieved parents left and right is a little out of control. People need to calm down. Everything is fine. There is no need for locks.

We have this instinct to protect our kids and shield their eyes. But this damages them more than anything. Sure, within reason, we need to do that. And I do, certainly. But I want my child to see the world and its people. I want him to not feel locked down and coddled. I want him to feel free to venture out and explore and experience the world. When he falls, I don't rush to his side. He gets back up and he keeps on going (unless he really did seriously injure himself-happens all the time). I know this goes beyond locking the doors, but I think its completely unnecessary, and the parental response to it is a bit much.

In a more general sense, it is important to push kids out of their comfort zone. It is important to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. Too much do we hang on, hold on to, protect. Within reason, obviously, as good parents we need to do these things. But likewise as good parents, we've got to push them so they can fly. And I have seen too many people with clipped wings because of their dependency on their parents. Scares the living day lights out of me to this day.

Part of our challenge as parents, is fostering independence and adventure in our kids. In a lot of children, like mine, have already got it. I don't want Caleb to meet the world with fear. I hope he exercises wisdom and caution, but also steps out with confidence and spirit. There's no reason to live with bars in his life, figuratively, or literally.