When Christopher and I read the last chapter of Henry Huggins the other night, the gang of neighborhood kids all playing together reminded me of Christopher and his friends. Sometimes I come home and when I pull into the cul de sac, it’s full of kids riding bikes or roller skating/scootering, and it warms my heart. I love that Christopher has a gaggle of kids in the neighborhood to play with.
He has 3 friends in the neighborhood, besides the girls next door, that we allow him to go visit alone. For 2 of these friends, he can run through the neighbors’ yards to get to, so it’s a little bit safer. But for the third, he has to ride his bike across the street at the end of the court, down the street, and around the corner. We made his ride around with us for about a month before we felt comfortable letting him ride on his own. And we always make him take his walkie talkie with him.
Seriously, that thing is so wonderful! We stole the idea from the parents of that 3rd friend. He’s two years older, and he’s been coming over to our house for the last two years (since he was also 6) with his bike and his walkie talkie. He (and now Christopher) checks in when he arrives somewhere or reports that the friend isn’t come and comes back home – or asks to go visit someone else. It’s also great for us because we can check in or call him home. It’s only failed one time when we forgot to charge it up, and I was calling Christopher home for swim lessons, and the battery had died. Then I had to drive over and pick him up instead.
The best part? I get some peace and quiet at home while he’s off playing with his friends. I just keep the walkie talkie close at hand, and I can read without interrupt and without wondering where he’s gone.
How far do you let your kids go without you? How do you call them home?
On the blog last year…