When I was growing up, kids were able to run amok… Just do whatever they pleased. Often, kids were thrown out the door and simply abandoned until it was lunch or dinner time on weekends. I found this to be strange, because any time my mom sent me out to play, she always kept an eye out for me and I was always welcome to come back in unless she was planning a surprise. Or if she were making home made noodles for whatever amazing pasta she had cooked up in her head for that nights dinner. I honestly believe I was one of the only kids who wasn’t forbidden from going back inside, who had a mother who genuinely cared enough to want to know where I was at all times.
Back then, I didn’t feel all that loved, I felt watched like a hawk as though she didn’t trust me. It took me a long time to finally realize that my mom actually did love and trust me, it was everyone else she didn’t trust. I always wanted the same kind of freedom that all the other kids had, but my mom knew better than to just let me wander because you never really know just how safe a neighborhood is. You could know everyone in your entire complex, duplex, or cul-de-sac, that doesn’t mean potential danger doesn’t exist. My mom was smart enough and caring enough to know that just because the people in your town are nice and the people in your complex are good people, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any harm done to ones children. At any given time, no matter how safe ones neighborhood might seem, anyone’s child could be snatched up and had untold nightmarish things done to them.
I plan to be a lot like my mom when it comes to letting my kids out to play once they’re old enough to be trusted to play outside without my direct presence at their side. They might feel as though they have freedom but I will always be watching out for them, because that is what a good parent does.