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Freak on a Leash

Somebody asked me today if I would put my toddler on a leash.

You’re damn right I would.

You wouldn’t? Do you think it’s cruel? Degrading?

I think that putting children on leashes is the sole reason I’m still acquainted with my birth parents.

I was a runner. I got lost several times. Believe it or not, I have a memory of getting completely lost at church. We had a really, really big church. I don’t know how long it took me to find my mom, but I remember feeling panicked and sick and thinking that I might have to live there.

Perhaps this is the reason I feel the way I do about church, but I’m pretty sure it’s the reason I feel the way I do about leashes.

My parents were progressive, putting me on a leash in the early ’70s. Strangers said horrible things to my mother. The accused her of treating me like a dog or a criminal. I have something to say to my mother too. I say thank you, mom.

I put my kids on leashes, too.

I took a 14-hour road trip with two 19-month-olds. They weren’t potty trained yet, but I was, and I can’t go 14 hours without using the ladies room. We needed to stop, and they needed to move their little bodies. As any parent will tell you, at about a year and a half the kids just run, and as any parent of twins will tell you, they rarely run in the same direction.

Sometimes that direction is the parking lot. Sometimes it’s the men’s room. Sometimes it’s towards a stray dog. You never know, and neither did I. So when we got out of the car, I put them each on a cute little backpack leash, so both kids would be safe and sound.

I don’t mind people being opposed to putting children on leashes, but I’ll never agree with them. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My opinion is firmly pro-leash.

 

 

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