The missing boy in Borough Park this week has made headlines everywhere. What started out as a local search for an eight-year-old child, who left his mother worried after failing to meet her at their preplanned meeting place, grew into a massive manhunt with volunteers coming from all over in hopes of giving the story a happy ending.

We held our breath for about thirty-six hours, clinging to any information we got out hands on, while praying for his safe return. We pored over every detail, fantasizing that we could crack the case even though the NYPD and scores of other professionals had not yet done so.

Answers came, but not the ones we wanted or prayed forAnswers came, but not the ones we wanted or prayed for.

After losing his way and asking for directions, he walked into the hands of a monster and suffered a brutal murder, too gruesome for a mother to describe.

But before grief had its chance to set in, the accusations began. How can she, even in the safest neighborhood, let her child walk alone? We must watch our children. Guard them. Protect them from the evil around us.

This is true.

But the question begs to be asked: can parents be too protective?

I remember seeing a cartoon, years ago, of a child coming down the slide wearing a helmet, elbow pads, kneepads and a padded vest, straight into the waiting arms of his mom and dad on either side.

My mother has often said, “We give our children wings, we have to let them fly.” Perhaps this is the toughest part of parenting.

It can be tough letting go. Allowing children to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.

Of course, it must be age-appropriate. For a one-year-old, it’s about trying yet again to hold their own bottle or taking their first steps. For a three-year-old, it’s dressing themselves; and for a ten-year-old, it’s making that really scary phone call himself asking a store manager for a particular product.

You say, “You cannot be too careful”? I think you can. True protection from the evils in this world is real preparedness for what awaits.

It’s healthy to get a bruise, trip on a few stairs, and eat some dirt. You’ll be more careful on your bike next time, more watchful of the stairs, and won’t touch the dirt again after the first taste.

We also must teach our children, unfortunately, that it is not safe to trust everyone.

Especially strangers.

At the same time, as every parent knows, some things are just beyond our control.

Some things are just beyond our controlWhile we train our children, from the moment of their departure of the womb, that danger looms everywhere, from the china closet to almost everything in the kitchen to the road just a few steps away from the front door, every parent will acknowledge at one time or another that there was an angel, or two, or three looking out for their child.

A very real, if not crucial, part to being a parent is utmost trust and belief in G‑d.

We must do our part in protecting our children and preparing them for the unknown. At the same time, we must also realize that there is a point at which we must let go and concede that ultimately it’s in G‑d’s hands; even in head-to-toe protective gear, G‑d has His plan.

When the pain subsides and this terrible news becomes the day-to-day reality the parents of Leiby Kletzky live with, there will undoubtedly be the regrets, the “what ifs” and the “it didn’t have to happens,” but they will also be sure that they did the best they could as parents of this holy soul—and G‑d did His, in the most mysterious of ways.