Summer is here and my kids are out of school. This year they've discovered that there are other kids in the neighborhood that are about their age, and have started playing with them. Since the other children live down the road and a neighboring street, it means that my kids are starting to spread their wings and explore on their own more. This has been an adjustment for me and my wife as we learn how to let go and give them freedom, yet balance this with the knowledge that child predators exist and we don't want our kids harmed.
Looking back I can't remember all of my milestones. I know that I learned how to ride a bike at six, but I don't know when I was allowed to go around the neighborhood on my own. I know that my parents looked out for me, but I also remember having pretty wide range of where I roamed. I'm trying to find that balance with my own children, realizing that the world isn't the same as it was 30 years ago.
It's also hard to see my kids learning and growing without us. A month or so ago we discovered that my daughter learned how to ride a bike on her own. That was a huge surprise, as a few months before that I had tried to show her and she couldn't do it. Then I walk out one day and she's riding her friend's bike without any problems. When did that happen?
At the same time, the kids are becoming more self-sufficient and responsible, which is nice. My son can easily make his own lunch and both kids put their own laundry away. So there are some pluses to them growing up. I'm looking forward to when he can mow the yard!