Two events have driven home a true appreciation for what the future may hold for me as a parent. Twice, my daughter’s well being has been broached by strangers. It hasn’t been anything serious; one person with a vocal attitude and another with a loose handle on their gum. While not exactly a full frontal assault, it has been enough to show up on my protective radar. My emotional reactions have been disproportionate to the offenses. No, I have not had the urge to inflict bodily harm, but I have been angry. No, I have not been driven to loud outbursts of raging anger, but I have done some stewing in my own juices. Until now we’ve been able to protect Beth from everything. We can directly control what she sees on TV, who she associates with, and where she goes. Starting with Kindergarten, I sense that this absolute control is waning. What will I do when I can’t protect her anymore? I’m just beginning to feel a little helpless. There’s a long road ahead, I have no idea where we’re going, and I don’t have a map. All aboard!