Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Freedom and Independance

Being a mom, I think the hardest part is letting go.  As your kids get older they can do more and WANT to do more.  I've been a bit of an overkill super mom most of the time, and I definitely KNOW that I have sheltered my kids more than I've needed to in some situations. But, that's my choice and right. If I'm stupid enough to do everything for them, they are smart enough to let me.

Recently I've started letting the boys go on little bike rides or walk to the store without me. (The store is across the street.  Sad, I know. I can see it from my living room and I still get nervous if they take too long.)

Step one on the road to freedom was walking home for lunch.  I'm a crazy work at home mom, so WHY do I stop my day to go pick up my kid at lunch?  It's not far and again, I can see him walking almost the entire way way if I just step out my door.  But I'm a paranoid freak of nature (I've said that before!!)

Now that Art has decided that he likes coming home too, I've had a harder time. Is Macboy 2.0 old enough to take on the responsibility?  Umm... yes. If I allow him to walk with his brother to get us all slurpees... I should be able to let him walk to SCHOOL.  I'm just so terrified!! I don't want them to grow up scared like me, but still.  When is 'ready'?  How do you know?

Simple.  You DON'T.  You take a leap of faith.  You let them do it and PRAY for the best. You choke on your coffee everytime the phone rings, in case it's the school calling to say they didn't make it.  You consider driving by to make sure they are there at recess. (which I have...ugh)

This week.... Art has come home twice so far. I'm sick. I have a sick baby girl.  I'm tired. I have a headache. They want to ride bikes back after lunch.  I can let them ride to the park by themselves on Saturday (when I have nothing but faith to lean on because there is NO phone call to tell me they haven't made it) so I SHOULD be able to do this. 

Monday, I had to go check.  I used the guise of teaching for this one.  I had to show them the 'right way' to lock up their bikes.  Bonus for me, they hadn't done it right or I would have had no excuse to be there.  Today, I have to grin and bear it, I know they will be fine. I know that the only thing that might go wrong is that Art will find mud. Even with the weather being dry, 
he will find mud.  Always does.

On Monday, I was there, waiting.  I saw Macboy 2.0 outside. I saw Art come out. I waited. And waited. And ART waited... Macboy was not at the bike racks.  After a few minutes, a red faced boy came around the corner of the school. Hand on his forehead as if that would help hide his embarassment.
"I was looking for you at the front. 
I forgot we had the bikes here."

Proud mommy moment #65,912
He was wearing his bike helmet the whole time.


  1. That's awesome! I can so identify with this. We have a redbox across the street. We live behind the store that has it. So I occasionally let the girls (9 & 11) run over to get or return a movie. I can't see them at the machine, but I can see them until they turn the corner to get to it.

    I won't let them go into the store - they have to go, get/return the movie, and come straight back. No stops. And I stay on the porch and watch like a hawk.

    Their father will occasionally let them walk home from school (he works at the school, as does his newest wife). They live about 6-8 blocks away and it's a very small town. They have their 7 year old brother with them, and they go straight home and then use their house phone to call him and let him know they're there. They only have to wait about 30 minutes max for him to get home. I'm not super comfortable with it, but in that town, it's ok.

    They grow up so fast. :(

  2. My fourteen year old boy talks about going to a friend's house a couple of miles away, either by riding his bike on our very busy street, or by walking across yards and climbing fences. I applaud his ambition, but until he can figure out that either choice is unsafe I don't want him riding his bike anywhere without me.

    Hope he develops some sense before it's time for him to learn to drive.