This summer I have noticed something extremely important and extremely welcome.
My children are becoming more independent.
Someone’s house to pick up something from Freecycle
Christian bookstore to pick out Catie’s first real Bible
Food Court at Mall
The Picture People at the Mall/Playground
Picture People (to pick up pictures)
Back in van for trip around the mall
Home to feed Ethan, feed the neighbor’s dog Mini-Me and find books
Last year I would have quaked in my boots at even the thought of the above and would have begged someone to come along with me. At the food court I would have gotten the food at all one place if possible so I didn’t have to leave anyone alone for even a moment, or spent the time away craning my neck to make sure everyone was 1) still in their seat 2) not kidnapped 3) not running around.
At the bookstore I had Catie with me at all times because we were looking at a bible for her, but the others just wandered around the store. Even Ethan, although he generally stayed near me. At the food court I got two pieces of pizza for the girls, sat everyone down, stood in line at McDonald’s for Bennett and then in line at Chic-fil-A for me. Everyone ate their food and behaved and no one got up or got kidnapped. While I ate my lunch the three who had to went en masse to the bathrooms. And found me again. No problems. (I wouldn’t send one by themselves, but three together I don’t worry about!). At the Picture People (and wait until I post the pictures of Ethan!) the other three played three “stores” down at the inside playground. No worries.
At almost 8 I allow them a lot more leeway than I would have last year. I trust them more and they have more confidence and know my expectations. Plus, they really are good kids!