“Overprotection is a rejection of your power.”
And now it can be told: school is over and I am so excited I could throw up. I had a few moments there where I almost snapped and ran away and took the children off to the School of Life, aka Piratetry, Mexico, Hoboport, or fill in the blank.
Flack, there was flack, flack ahoy. Like a responsible netizen (oh yers I did) I did not tell you that my big kid was walking by herself to and from school every day. When I moved to this neighborhood, this is something I thought would be a possibility with the children, along with running to the store for bananas, to the methadone clinic, etc, etc. But I thought this would be a far-off future thing, since they are just now able to wash me to my satisfaction with a rag on a stick.
It came up, though, somehow, the walking, and I thought about it. It is all of a couple of blocks, no busy streets are crossed, and school ins and outs times are always broad daylight, as they say.
“Are you sure you want to do this by yourself?” I asked.
And she went! A little scared on the first day. There was some hesitancy and some surprise from her teacher, who called me on the first day she was to come home. “She’s here and I’m sending her home now, right? Okay?” Right, okay. Her teacher is used to the helicopter parenting, which is about 47 times less amusing than a roflcopter.
And then it got interesting. The sound of chopper blades filled the air. People started cluing in to the fact that Franny was embarking alone daily on a five-minute walk. OMFGBBQ, release the hounds. A parent told her that she should not be walking home by herself, after she and I had decided it was okay and that she was ready. Did you catch that? Another parent told my little fledging independent so-proud-of-herself kid that what she was doing was not okay. Another well-meaning parent offered her a ride. This article flew around the list. Asperations were cast.
Lucky for me, I put my head together with my kid’s teacher really quickly. I also talked to my kid. Good job, my kid! Keep up the good work. Her teacher let her lollygag for a few minutes every day so she could avoid the swarming.
But she toughed it out. I tried not to make a big deal about it–she could walk with me, or alone, whatever. I told her I was proud of her, and I was. Letting her have some freedom, is the best thing I can do to let her know that I think she’s capable, because she IS. DAMMIT!