Readers — This letter, received today, made me cheer. For the mom, for the kids, for the movement!
From a mom named Mia:
I do very much wish to thank you for writing and sharing this blog. It is changing my life and that of my children and I suppose you could call me a convert of sorts.
It feels like such a relief, a weight lifted from my shoulders, a permission of sorts to be the kind of parent I feel comfortable being. And that kind of parent is not one who approaches child-rearing with fear and quilt, rarely able to take a deep breath and relax. I am so weary of the excessive worry about every little thing – and the pressure, judgment and competition from other mothers to see who can cushion their child the most.
I want to be a free range mom! The thoughtfulness behind your articles and the intelligence of your reader’s discussions have emboldened me to change it up and let loose a bit around here –
A week ago I let my 11 year old leave the dentist’s office we were at (for his brothers appointment) to walk alone, out of my sight, across the semi-busy shopping center to the McDonald’s and buy an ice cream cone. He was so proud of himself . And I felt such shame that I had never before allowed my son to feel this accomplishment and confidence. Next time there is a dentist appointment for his brother he can stay home alone and I know he’ll be just fine.
Yesterday I let him make a boxed mac & cheese. I wasn’t even in the same room where he was boiling water on the gas stove for the 1st time. Just hollered out my answers to any questions he had. He did it! And his grin of pride was huge.
Also yesterday, I let my 8yo son go outside alone for the 1st time. To go to friends homes and see if anyone could play, or maybe go to the park on the corner and find some kids there to play with. He rode his bike and he stopped by often – for popsicles, to give home tours to new friends, to grab a ball, to get our puppy and participate in an impromptu 5-child dog walking trip around the neighborhood. And with the age old twin calls of hunger and twilight, he was back home, grinning and enthusiastically asking if he could do it all over again tomorrow.
Ahh, *now* I’m breathing and it feels like fun and happiness.
And with that, readers, a great weekend to all! — Lenore