We are vacationing at my parent’s summer home in a small community in Rhode Island where the kids have independence like nowhere else.
If they want to go someplace, they bike there: to the beach, to friend’s houses, to theater camp, to the ice cream shop. The older three need me for very little. They pack their lunch in the morning and have dinner at theater camp. Sometimes they even hang out with friends after camp and don’t get home until bedtime.
My oldest is nearly a stranger. I will see her in passing on the beach and occasionally at home. I get texts from her every now and then, letting me know where she is, and she will check in when she comes home at night. But she’s not even sleeping under the same roof as I am. She recently moved in next door with her cousin, and the two of them will sleep until just before we leave for the beach. I miss her, but I’m glad she’s getting this little spurt of independence.
I’ve recently been struggling over how much independence to give my little guy. He wants to ride to theater camp by himself and half of me wonders why not let him, but then I remember that he’s just 7. There will be plenty of time for that.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 13, Lilly, 11, Adam, 11, and Jonah, 7.