Monday, June 9, 2014


This past Sunday, our doorbell rang.  My inner hermit shouted "What?!?  Who is at my door on a Sunday afternoon during peak brainlessness hours?"  Turns out it wasn't even for me.  It was for Harrison.  Apparently he is already a hot commodity in the neighborhood.  

The sweet little boy at my door wanted to know if Harrison could come out and play.  My heart jumped right into my throat.  "Awwwww!  He's getting so big.", I thought.  How can my tiny baby boy be going outside to play with the neighborhood kids already? He was just born, people!

"Of course he can!", I exclaimed.  As alarmed as I was that this moment had already arrived, I was thrilled for my little guy.  It's just such a rite of passage when you start making your own friends.  Harrison was already putting his shoes on, as if he had been invited outside to play a million times before.  He was emanating this "Just be cool, mom." vibe, as he strutted through our front door to his friends.

My mind was racing.  "Oh my god.  Now what?",  I thought.  Surely I don't just let my four year old wander over to the neighbor's alone, but I don't want to harsh his gig by following him... "Too bad", I decided.  He's four.

So we went.  I followed obediently (and hopefully nonchalantly) as he meandered the sidewalk between our house and the neighbor's.  They played in our front yard.  They played in their front yard.  They rode bikes and scooters up and down the sidewalks and driveways.  They went in and out of the neighbor's backyard and then in and out of our playroom.

They were EVERYWHERE.  It may have been the cutest thing I've ever seen.  Harrison paid absolutely no attention to me, but I like to think it gave him confidence to see me loitering near by.  But when DO you start letting your kids go to their friend's alone?  At eight?  At ten?  Never???

I would totally be ok with never, but my husband is (always) the voice of reason.  He can be really irritating that way.  Always so damn sensible.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

With Derek advocating for him, Harrison will probably... eventually get to leave the house without mom in tow.  Or maybe I'll insist on escorting him to prom.  It's totally cool to take your mom to prom these days, right?  No???  That hasn't changed since I went to prom?... FINE!  He can go to prom without me, but today, and for as many more days as I can,  I will tag along behind him.

Do you let your kids play in the neighborhood unaccompanied?  At what age?  Tell me your stories!

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  1. Jill Shelhope McCannJune 9, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I LOVE your blog! As far as playing alone my older boys are 12 and 14 and I still have my limits. Our world these days is a crazy place. They have neighborhood boundries and cell phones and if they dont answer its Big trouble. Also, in homes only if I know the parents. Alone out front seriously didnt start until a couple years ago.

    1. Thanks Jill! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks the world is too crazy to let our kids run around like we did. The phone is a great idea! Harrison will probably have one before he gets much older. At least one that can dial me and 911.