Summer is now upon us and after the lengthy and extra cold winter we are all happy about it. Cullen seems to be the happiest of all of us about the turn in the weather and the opportunities to play outside.
Cullen loves to be in nature, nothing makes him happier than to be out in the sunshine. When I take him to the river by our house he will happily sit in the water splashing and throwing rocks for as long as he is allowed. When we went to the beach I have never seen him more content than when he laid down in the sand dug his hands in and chilled.
This summer he as been taking every chance he gets to go outside, lately when he is not supposed to. In some ways he is like a cat you want them to be inside and snuggle up on the couch with you but all they want to do is roam.
In our house there is a sliding glass door that leads to the porch and freedom. Cullen learned how to open the door and get outside last year. The door also as a deadbolt and I have to keep it locked or he will sneak outside. It would not be so bad, we have a yard that is completely fenced in but sometimes he us not happy with the parameters of our yard and tries to hop the fence for further freedom. The last couple weeks he has learned a new trick to get outside.
Our home came equipped with a doggie door carved into the front wall. Much to small for our doggie to squeeze through but just the right size for a Cullen. It has a latching mechanism with a flap but he has figured out the latch and removes the flap and scoots outside. The first time he did it I was in a cold panic I could not find him anywhere. I was doing housework and I had deadbolted the door because he likes to go outside. His brothers were playing Lego Batman and when they play the game together a marching band made up of clowns could go through the room and they would not notice. When I put on my headphones Cullen was in his room playing with his cars. When I took them off to check on them Cullen was no where to be found. The sliding door still deadbolted, the kitchen door had not been budged as I was in there the whole time. Then I noticed the doggie door that I never pay attention too and the plastic gaurd was off and laying at Colton feet. I faced to the yard and looked all over starting to panic again til I found him in the sandy part of the yard scooping dirt into his dump truck with his shovel still in his truck jammies covered in dirt.
I worry about him wandering away constantly, whenever he feels like doing something he does it. If he were playing outside and saw a butterfly go down the street he would not hesitate to hop the fence and follow it. I wish I trusted enough to let him outside as he wanted. As nice and small as my town is all it takes is watching one investigation discovery that starts out with "It was a quiet southern town, hardly any crime, until...." To make you want to lock your children inside.
So I question if I am being an overprotective mother by not letting him go outside with out me there to watch him. Should I let his wild side run free and let him play outside as long as he likes or am I doing the right thing?