The dreaded question has now been asked – the one that I knew was coming but was dreading all the same:
Mam, you know how I’m sensible and stuff and I’m almost grown up, well, I think I’m ready to walk home from school myself. Is that OK?
Actually no, it’s far from OK because I’m not ready for it myself yet.
What I wanted to say was this:
I like knowing that when I drop you off at breakfast you can’t escape until I come and get you and then I bring you home so there’s no danger of you getting lost / run over by a car / approached by strange people / attacked by a dog / abducted by aliens or any one of the million and one other things that could possibly happen to you in the half mile walk home. You will not be walking home on your own without me until you are at least 15!
But what I actually said was:
Hmmmm, I’m not sure. I’ll see what your dad thinks.
So now I have to think about what I’m going to say.
We live about half a mile from the school and the only main road has a lollipop lady so she’ll be OK in that sense but it’s not just about road safety is it? There’s all sorts of other dangers out there that no matter how sensible she is, can’t be controlled.
I’m a worrier anyway and the thought of her walking home from school on her own does scare me. A lot. But at the same time, I know that at her age, I was walking to and from school on my own and I’m still here.
She’s ten (eleven in September) going on eighteen and she’s very independent and pushing to do more and more all the time – it’s a fine line between making sure I don’t over protect her and giving her too much, too young.
I need some advice, what would you do?