When I was five, I used to walk to school with my friends.
It wasn’t far, maybe half a mile or so, but we completed the journey there and back unhindered by our parents.
When we moved house a year or so later, our school was a bit further away but, more often than not, we opted not to get the bus and continued with our daily sojourns.
Now a parent of a five-year-old myself, I wouldn’t dream of letting him go anywhere on his own.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising my parents, everyone did it then, but we’re living in a different age when our awareness of the risks – and the risk themselves – are heightened.
The issue was thrown into sharp focus for me this week when, during a walk in the woods near our home, Calum took off on his own.
There are numerous paths to follow so, by the time we tracked down which one he’d taken, half an hour had elapsed and we were getting increasingly frantic.
Thankfully it all ended happily but, during that comparitively short time, dozens of thoughts went through my head.
It’s only in these moments that you can begin to appreciate how someone who has lost a child for good feels.