As a parent, I like to think I have quite a relaxed style of parenting but no matter how laid back I am, I wasn’t prepared for the question Master Frugal asked me last weekend:
Please can I go to the park with my friends today Mam?
My immediate thought was absolutely not – he’s only 10 and the park is about three quarters of a mile away. I quickly thought out all of the worst case scenarios in my head which ranged anywhere from him being kidnapped to falling in the lake and from falling of a swing to being bitten by a rabid dog.
(Not that I’m a worrier you understand ;-))
I opened my mouth to break the bad news to him but looking at his excited face I couldn’t do it so I ended up agreeing that he could go and giving him a list of instructions as long as his arm the poor thing.
He wasn’t to talk to strangers, approach any dogs, go near the water, spilt up from his friends, leave the park before it was time to come home, be silly in the play area or do anything he wouldn’t do if I was there with him.
His friends called for him and they set off for the park just after lunch all chattering at the tops of their voices excitedly as it was the first time for most of them.
The next three hours were the longest three hours of my life I think and are probably the longest I’ve ever gone without knowing 100% where he was – in the past he’s played out loads of times but always close to either our home or one of his friends houses so there was always a grown up I knew somewhere nearby.
When the front door finally opened and he walked through all red-cheeked and bright eyed I had to sit on my hands to stop me from jumping up and hugging the air out of him. I might have been a nervous wreck but I don’t want him to know that so I just asked him, cool as a cucumber, if he’d had a nice time
He sat with me and spent the next twenty minutes telling me in detail just how much fun they’d all had and how they were going to do it every weekend from now on! He loved it and I really think that bit of independence has done him the world of good although I’m not looking forward to him being incommunicado again this weekend when they go again.
Hopefully it will get easier?
Someone please tell me it does….
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