When it comes to my child, I often fail at keeping my innner mama bear in check. Today, my son, who is 4, was riding his bike to school. He wobbled a bit, as he always does, but he usually stays upright.
I was walking maybe 10 feet behind my child when a stranger started moving towards my son, grabbed him by the shoulders and stopped him. "I know you're trying to help," I all but growled, "but please don't touch my child."
The man said nothing and kept walking. Guilt washed over me. This man thought he was preventing a fall, and I lectured him. Don't I want people looking out for my child?
My rational brain told me I overreacted, gave in to hysteria about strangers. But my gut is telling me the man's actions, even if well-intentioned, were strange. My son was not heading into traffic, after all. The man could presumably see that I was watching and not concerned about an imminent crash.