Folks — I sure liked him! Liked what he’s all about! – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I wanted to share a great interaction we had this past Saturday with a Free-Range Kid. My son and daughter-in-law were moving from their apartment, and while we were over there packing and taking boxes and furniture down the U-haul truck, a 9-year-old boy and his little sister stopped by and asked if they could help. The little sister took a couple of small things down to the truck, but quickly lost interest. Her brother spent 4 hours with us, packing boxes (he emptied an entire closet by himself), carrying lots of stuff down two flights of stairs, helping me tip over the loveseat to get the crumbs out of the bottom, helping us disassemble the lamps, the dinette table, etc. At first I wouldn’t let him use the packing tape because of the sharp blade needed to cut it, but thinking of you, I showed him how to use it properly, so he was able to put the boxes together without any adult assistance.
He is the son of the building superintendent, so I think his family might not have the resources to send him to camps and summer activities, and because they are immigrants, they might not know that kids are supposed to be locked up “safe” all day.
He didn’t ask to be paid — he was just helping us because he wanted something to do — but I gave him $5, and after a few minutes he turned up with a slice of pizza and an eggroll from the take-out places down the street — very proud of himself for having the wherewithal to get his own supper. When we left for the day, he kept thanking us for the fun afternoon he had had, working his butt off with the grown-ups! All the best, Bella Englebach