men's roomOk, I have a confession to make. My son is almost 7 years old, and I still bring him into the ladies room with me when we're out in public and he needs to go to the bathroom. I just don't feel right about letting him wander into the men's room -- particularly if we're traveling.

Since we live in Connecticut and have so many wonderful destinations and attractions nearby in surrounding states, we take a ton of road trips. And while we do our best to go away as a family whenever we can, there have been a few occasions where it's been just me and my son on the road.

And even though he's more than old enough to understand that men and women typically use separate restrooms for a reason, you couldn't pay me enough money to send him into a highway rest stop men's bathroom all by himself. Not even if I were standing guard right outside the door.

Maybe I'm overprotective. Maybe I'm really neurotic. Or maybe I read so many horror stories about horrible people who do horrible things to innocent kids and it makes me a bit more nervous than other moms with boys the same age.

Whatever the case, I know on the off chance that something did happen to him in a rest stop bathroom, I'd never be able to forgive myself for allowing him to enter it alone. And aside from something bad happening, simply thinking about him standing there doing his business with a bunch of random dudes around really just gives me the heebie jeebies.

And you know what? I may never be ready to let him go in there alone. Honestly, I can't imagine feeling any different five years from now, even though he'll be almost 12 years old at that point. In fact, the idea of sending him in as a pre-pubescent boy almost terrifies me even more than sending him in alone now.

I guess once he enters his teens, maybe I'll be ok with it?

Gah. The poor kid. He'll probably start hating family road trips simply because I'm such an embarrassment to him.

What age do you think is appropriate for letting a kid use a highway rest stop alone?