15 July 2010

Look Before You Leap

Isaac is not a daredevil, for which I am sometimes quite thankful. He has inherited my cautiousness, which means I have not had the numerous trips to the doctor or emergency room that other mothers I know have endured and I do not have to worry about leaving the room for two minutes for fear of what he may climb or overturn while I am out of sight. But it also means that learning to ride a bike or swim will be exercises in patience for his father and I and most new experiences will be met with trepidation for him. I know this from experience.

Considering Isaac's cautious manner, it is not surprising that he likes the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann so much. It is full of safety tips and the main character is a cautious-minded police officer who lectures children on staying safe. And then there is Gloria, Buckle's dog who helps him with his presentations. Gloria is not so cautious, but her antics during the safety lectures are entertaining enough that the kids actually pay attention to the lesson.

What is really appealing about this book for Isaac is not the safety aspect, though he does like to look at the end papers and have me read the safety tips that are pictured there. What he really loves is the dog, as Rathmann intends. Gloria is the perfect partner for Officer Buckle and this story is about the comfort of friendship, not the security of crash helmets and knee pads. Officer Buckle's lectures work when Gloria is there because they make a good team. When one of them is missing, neither of them does their best work.

Isaac's cautious nature will probably mean that he is slow to make friends and try new things. I hope he will find his "Gloria," someone who helps him find the courage to be adventurous. When he does, I will be here to remind him to wear his helmet and knee pads before taking off.

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