It’s the kind of morning that goes so swimmingly a wise parent would do well to watch out for the ambush. You know, the small but rapid series of events that end with you sitting slumped at the kitchen table, near petulant-tears and unspeakably angry at your kids, your spouse, the universe.
Not that I ever have days like that.
I say “morning” but as I sit down to type we have passed 11 AM and my son is still sleeping. Pink beans are simmering on the stove while scrambled eggs and tortillas remain under warm, damp cloths in the oven; the repast when he wakes (the majority of the beans will go in my stone casserole dish to be used for tomorrow’s supper; tonight we are having hutspot, kale, sausage). Sophie, shiny-nosed and clean from swim team, is sitting at the kitchen table reading Roald Dahl’s The Witches, eating french fries and drinking copious amounts of milk as she waits for her brother to awake and the family breakfast to commence. Like so many adults I know, Sophie loves to start her day with brisk exercise.
One of my favorite blogs to read these days is the Free Range Kids site, spearheaded by Lenore Skenazy (who achieved fame – or notoriety, depending on how you look at it – for letting her nine year old ride the subway by himself).
Until recently I didn’t know there was a phrase for it, but I now know I am a Free Range Parent. More important than a label, I am so pleased to have found a group who understands where I’m coming from and why this is a passion of mine. I have at times felt extremely isolated for not being intensely protective (emotionally, physically, mentally) with regards to my healthy, rugged, and extremely active children. With this site I have scratched the surface of a group of like-minded people who not only realize it’s okay to let one’s six year old walk a few blocks – but who also believe it’s of paramount importance to live our lives in freedom, and allow our children to as well.
Also on my reading table today: the 2009 Murray McMurray Hatchery Catalog.
At 11:15 Nels comes downstairs, shaking the hair out of his eyes and telling me of a dream he had (a tea party in the middle of the night) that he is sure is real. I offer him breakfast and he happily obliges at the table. “I need more cheese on this, bro,” he tells me presently.