Apr 11, 2010

Courage Mom

Free Range Kids has become one of my daily reads these days. As I confront my own paranoia about moving from tiny town where everyone knows your name to giant city where nobody does, it's been a struggle to let the kid assert her independence. I'm turning to the blog for support. It's written by the lady who let her 9 year old ride the subway, maybe you saw her when they called her the worst mom in America. She's not, she's the bravest mom in America maybe.

I'm doing my best to let the kid run around and play without and my ever watchful eye three feet from her and a small and simple toy I requested for Christmas has allowed me to do it. Walkie Talkies. This way when she scrapes her knee she can radio me to come get her, or when I get the overwhelming feeling she may be following a clown down into the sewer to get a balloon I can radio her and make sure she isn't.

As she gets older I need to remember the things I did when I was young. Waiting at the bus stop alone. A walk to the local dime store for candy. Unfettered time on my bike on my own block. The freedom to knock on the door of a new neighbor and say "Do you have kids? Can they come out and play" These are not unreasonable things. The fact is most kidnapped children are taken by family members and or someone they know. The most dangerous thing she does every day is riding in the car with me. I just have to look at the numbers.

And I am a super mom, but I'm not Super Mom, I can't prevent every knee scrape, every hurt feeling and every bruise, nor should I. I can't function with a child hanging onto my leg every moment and she can't grow while hanging on. I don't have the energy to play as much as she does, she needs to find her own way, her own playmates and her own life. Yes, at six. Because I am here for checkers, or to get the gum out of her hair and the occasional hipppity hop scotch game, but baby I am too big to climb that tree without a proper ladder.

1 comment:

Jo said...

I am a rather hands off mom, not too hovery either. I figure if the kid can climb the tree, why can't they climb as far as they want? It is hard to find the boundaries where we feel/know they are safe, compared to others. It was tough for me, my oldest was so small, she was only in a 4t at eight years old, I was worried that someone would just scoop her up. She is a feisty thing though, and at some point, I trusted her to be able to make enough fuss to save herself. She flew to Cali all by herself when she was 11. It is nice to see other moms figuring out how to make their kids MORE independent instead of scared.
There is no way I can catch up on all my reading in google, so I beg you, if you have had something happen that I would want to know about, please email me!