At Let Grow, the nonprofit that grew out of Free-Range Kids and is working to make childhood independence easy, normal and legal, we got a beautiful letter from three siblings whose mom recently passed. Here it is:
Dear Let Grow,
When my mom passed away last month, my brother, sister, and I spent a lot of time thinking of her influence on our lives. My mother graduated as a nurse in the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) as WWII was ending, so without a need to serve, she went right into marriage and raising 4 kids. My siblings and I had what I’m sure was a typical upbringing of the times.
From the time I was 9 or 10 I would go to the park and play with friends all day until it got dark. My friends and I chose up sides to play baseball, basketball or stickball. Everyone got to play, we managed to settle all disagreements of whether someone was out or safe, and there wasn’t a grown up in sight. We had to fend off the older kids, often not very successfully, but some years later we became the older kids. Any scrapes or cuts were dealt with by my “nurse” mom, but only after the day was ended. Life happened.
The older of my 2 little brothers (16 months younger than me) wasn’t into sports. With his friends he built all manner of go karts, weight lifting benches, and other items with scraps he picked up in the neighborhood, with tools he made and/or borrowed. We would sometimes fight like mortal enemies — when the fight began in the house, my mother would break us up insisting that we could continue the fight in the backyard — which we usually did. (He unfortunately passed away 10 years ago).
The same was true with my younger brother and sister. My mother was always there in case of emergency, and took an interest in what we were doing, but she allowed us to grow up making our own decisions and learning from our mistakes. It never occurred to us that the journey of growing up should be any different.
When my brother, sister, and I thought about what charity best exemplifies the attributes that my mother held most dear, Let Grow was the obvious choice. We would like you to accept this donation in memory of our mother, Regina Dlugash.
Please continue your great work.
Ryselle (Dlugash) Perlman