Readers — This letter, received today,Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â I am so weary of the excessive worry about every little thing – and the pressure, judgment Â and competition from other mothers to see who can cushion their child the most.
I want to be a free range mom! Â 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) Â to walk alone, out of my sight, across the semi-busy shopping center to the McDonald’s and buy an ice cream cone. Â He was so proud of himself . Â And I felt such shame that I had never before allowed my son to feel this accomplishment and confidence. Â 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. Â I wasn’t even in the same room where he was boiling water on the gas stove for the 1st time. Â Just hollered out my answers to any questions he had. Â He did it! Â And his grin of pride was huge.
Also yesterday, I let my 8yo son go outside alone for the 1st time. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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, Â *now* I’m breathing and it feels like fun and happiness.
And with that, readers, a great weekend to all! — Lenore