A new community center opened this summer down the street from our house. Its barely 2 blocks, but in between there is a 4-lane busy street. So here’s the mother’s conundrum. My oldest daughter is 12 – old enough to go to the basketball courts and play without my supervision. But is she street-wise enough to cross the street all by herself?
I don’t know, because I never let my children cross the street by themselves.
When they go out to ride their bikes, I tell them they can go anywhere as long as they don’t cross the 4-lane streets that form the corner of our neighborhood. So, instead, they ride down the street a mile or two and through the wooded bike path, past their school, and back another mile along the road. Is that better?
This morning she not only wanted to go to the basketball courts, but she wanted to ride her bike! Decisions, decisions. Granted, I could walk her to the corner, but that seemed a bit too much hovering. I could go with her, with the other kids, too, but they seemed happy running around in the yard and I didn’t want to disrupt that temporary peacefulness. I could make her walk. Finally, probably with more instructions than soldiers receive as they head off to battle, I crossed my fingers and sent her off across that vast expanse towards independence.