The whole free range kids concept was appealing to me from the start in part because I was already espousing many of the tenents already. But putting real, hard core freeing of children into practice? Not as easy a path, but one so far, filled with success.
Friday, much to the girls' chagrin, we stayed at the playground after school so Eion could play with other kids. One of Maggie's friends wanted to stay and play but the girl's sister did not. So her Mom granted her permission to stay and told her to walk home afterwards. I was about to say, don't worry about it, I'll drive her, when I realized that walking two blocks, in arguably one of the safest neighborhoods in America, was completely appropriate for a nine year old. When we left, we sent her on her merry way. And she survived!
Yesterday, Morrigan was, largely independently, baking cookies. She was halfway through the baking process when we realized it was time to pick Maggie up from a party at the Y. We were about to divide and conquer when we rethought it, and decided she could finish baking on her own. As we drove way, we considered the worst possible outcomes. The first was that she would burn down the house. While bad, we considered this unlikely. She could also burn her hand or arm. This was more likely, but if she was to become a cook, was going to happen eventually. [I personally have two scars on my arm from the oven, both of which I gained after the age of thirty.] I told Tim she would call us if she burned herself. Ah, he pointed out, not if she had burned her hands too badly to dial the phone!
We fretted a bit and prepared for the worst.
When we returned home, the house was not aflame, she had finished baking, turned off the oven and stood triumphantly with her cookies. I'm not sure she had ever looked so proud.
Now Eion, he may need some work. I found a booklet on the table last night. When I asked E where it came from, he replied, "Some stranger brought it to the door." But he's still alive too.