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YOU'RE DOING WHAT!?! (or You do that and I'll kill you myself)

My daughter wants a motorcycle. Whenever we see someone on a motorcycle be it a picture-perfect Venezulean on a Vespa or a tourist couple on two wheels who I’m sure are over the legal weight limit for an elephant, she says “Mom I want a motorcycle.”

She's only 3 but I already get chills thinking about it. Like parents everywhere I don’t want my child to make dumb life-risking decisions. And, yes, I do believe riding motorcycles is one of those choices.

It’s so hard to be a parent because someday our kids will be able to make the wrong right decisions for themselves and we won’t be able to stop them or semi-relax knowing we have at least 13 more years to try to destroy that “dream”. Once they’re grown, they can decide to smoke, sext, or work with poisonous snakes. And, I can’t help but think of the more exotic crazy things kids can do.

I’m thinking specifically of those kids that decided to go hiking…in the mountains…of northern Iraq…right next to the border of Iran: Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 30, and Joshua Fattal, 27. (T echnically they’re not really kids, but they’re younger than me, so they’re kids.) After straying accidentally into Iran, they were taken into custody and accused of espinage. This happened in July 2009, and they’re still imprisoned there now. My hearts go out to their friends and families but I can’t help but thinking, what if that was my daughter and she as telling me of her plans.

P: I’m going hiking with my friends, mom.

Me: Have fun.

P: Up in the mountains.

Me: Dress warm and wear smart shoes.

P: We’re going to climb those picturesque mountains across the world in Iraq right near the boarder Iran. Isn’t that cool?

Me: Let me get my ulcer medication.

It’s reported they loved to hike. I can only hope my daughter loves me and herself more than "wind in her hair", blistered feet and some exotic vacation photos.