It's different not living in a town where everyone knows everyone. Where your extended family and those of your friends goes back more than 3 generations. You play with your mom's childhood friends' kids. That kind of small town.
If someone from school asks the girls over to play my rule is not until I've met the parents and had an extensive conversation and been inside their home. Even then, that's proven to not always be enough to protect them from things like inappropriate internet exposure. So frustrating.
Tonight I am caught between wanting Jules to develop a sweet friendship and protecting her from the unknown. Her friends' little sister is turning one and having a birthday party at a park that is way across town. They want to pick Jules up early to hang out and then go to the party.
I have never been to their apartment, I've never had a conversation with the mom other than small talk at a couple of class parties. Never even met the dad. I don't know who is going to be at the party or who will be taking her to the bathroom if she needs to go. I don't know if they are the over protective type like me or the type to let them run around with little supervision.
Too many unknowns.
After praying about it I decided that the level of my uneasiness was enough for me to say no. Jules is just too little and not prepared to handle any sort of situation that might be the slightest bit inappropriate or even dangerous. It would just take one creepy relative to do a whole lot of damage in a tiny amount of time.
I am disappointed for her not to go. I wish these mommy feelings weren't so in the way all the time. But, they are there for a reason, I suppose. Even if I feel like a big over-protective meany sometimes.