— Just had to put this on the blog. HAD to. – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: Ok, slightly off topic, but related to the whole walking thing – my niece at age 4 wanted a big party for her 5th birthday.Â But they had just moved to a new neighborhood.Â So she went around to all of the houses on her block (without her mother’s knowledge), and invited everyone who had a kid to her “party”.
Apparently, not only was she incredibly charming (no surprise I say, as her auntie), she told everyone the same date and time.Â The only people who did not know about her party were her parents ;-).
My SIL earned her Mother-Of-The-Century nomination for pretending she knew WHY random children were ringing her doorbell unannounced, ferreting out enough information to realize what was going on, and throwing my brother (her husband) out the back door with a tossed together list of party necessities with firm instructions to return within 30 minutes or never.
My niece is now 12, and that is one of her favorite “childhood” memories.Â That is the kind of magic that is possible when a family goes Free-Range. – Christina
Now THAT’S a surprise party.
I don’t think it’s off the topic at all.
It shows that when we aren’t afraid of each other, we experience life. Some of those experiences can be really AAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWW moments!
A very similar story happens in one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. It is cool to hear that it actually happened in real life.
If you read Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul there is a very similar story that takes place during the depression. Lovely tale.
That is so cute. And it sound like something MY niece would do (probably my son as well). What a wonderful way to meet new neighbors.
I remember being invited to such a party when I was a kid. Most of the kids in my class got a hand-made invitation. My mother took me since it was across town. It was pretty apparent that the parents were the ones surprised by the party, so my mom stayed to help out.
Purity of childhood + ambitiion = a neighborhood introduced to each other.
Awesome job on the kid’s part, and a standing ovation to the parents for pulling off the party.
The neighbors must have been at least something short of total helicopters themselves, since they just sent their kids over at the (allegedly) appointed time, instead of phoning ahead to certify that the event would be properly supervised, insured, and allergen-free, let alone coming along themselves. So all around, a good Free Range story, and not OT at all.
And my hat’s off to the parents — I’m pretty sure I would just have panicked and sent the kids home and become a pariah to the neighborhood kids.
Both Thumbs Up! Waaaaayyyyyyy UP!
>A very similar story happens in one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. It is cool to hear that it actually happened in real life.<<
Yeah, I remember that too. I like this story better, though, because in the book (Beezus and Ramona, if I remember correctly), Ramona just invited her entire preschool class, whereas, in this story, Christina actually walked around the neighbourhood and invited people of all ages, who she didn't even know yet.
This is so cute. I love when kids seek out other kids vs. the pre-aranged playdate/birthday parties. The imprompt gatherings are always more fun (especially when the parents are in the loop!)
I like how the parents reacted to the unexpected party (and the shopping trip under 30 minutes). Not everything has to be perfect or planned to be a success. And she threw her own party! This is a great story of what can happen when we embrace the unexpected instead of avoiding it.
So THAT’s a surprise party. How could we misunderstand that all those years…
Now that is funny.
@pentamom – Great point about the neighbors! I was just so tickled by my niece’s gumption and her parents’ reaction, it didn’t occur to me to consider how lovely the reactions of all those neighbors. It was almost 8 years ago in small-town Colorado, so things were likely more free-range generally (e.g., my SIL letting her daughter roam around the new environs); but still, the neighbor kids and their parents deserve kudos for such a great welcome to the community.
such a cute, sweet story. Thanks for sharing.
Love this story.
Life is a whole lot more fun when its little surprises don’t spoil the party, but create it in the first place.
Especially the bit about the only people for whom it was truly a surprise were – the parents.
No supervisory micro-managing here – just create and adjust.
Wish I’d had a party like that……………………
I did the same thing when I was 6 years old. We were moving to the other side of our state. I told all my neighborhood friends I was having a “Goodbye Party” but forgot to inform my mother. I told everyone the day, but neglected to tell them what time.
My mom was informed when she started getting phone calls the morning of the party asking what time my friends should arrive. This is how my mom rocked (and still does): After a brief conversation with me, she made a big batch of cupcakes and lemonade and we had a great party! Many happy memories.
I was also reminded of Beezus and Ramona. (or is it the one where she goes to kindergarten?)
It should be noted that Ramona walks to school all by herself in the story when she’s in kindergarten. She gets stuck in the mud wearing red rain boots one day, and has to be pulled out by the 6th grader crossing guard.
“She gets stuck in the mud wearing red rain boots one day, and has to be pulled out by the 6th grader crossing guard.”
And now they’re married?
I think the series stops when she hits 13 or 14.
And can you imagine a “6th grader crossing guard” now?