The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, April 08, 2007



My 11-year-old son was recently invited to go bowling with the five other boys that make up his close circle of friends. The parent who proposed the bowling outing intended to drop the boys off and pick them up a few hours later.

I hesitated.

The bowling alley includes a full-service bar and an arcade, features that attract a seedy crowd. The local paper lists it as the vicinity of frequent nighttime police calls. However, on weekend afternoons it’s a mecca for school aged birthday parties. It’s anyone’s guess who might be hanging out there in the middle of a weekday during mid-winter break.

My son was almost 9 the first time my husband and I let him walk the three blocks to our suburban neighborhood store to buy some milk. Proud of our confidence in him, he bolted out of the door, exhilarated to be on his own. Seconds later, a concerned neighbor phoned to report that she has seen our son running down the street alone.

I was heartened to know that my neighbor was looking out for us, yet dismayed that the sight of a lone fourth grader was so conspicuous. How will our children ever gain a sense of independence if they are forever encumbered by the watchful gaze of adults?

Today my son stays at home alone regularly -- sometimes even with a friend over -- while I shuttle his younger sister to after school activities. He walks to and from the school bus each day while many of his peers are still driven to the bus stop. He rides his bike to soccer practice. He roams the local creek with his friends. And this year he and his friends even went trick or treating unsupervised. (I did tuck my cell phone into his costume, just in case).

Fretting over whether to let him go bowling, feeling the pull and push of wanting to protect him without stifling him, it occurred to me to ask my son what he wanted to do. He confided that he wasn’t comfortable going to the bowling alley on his own. He declined the invitation, and, turns out, so did most of his friends.

That afternoon I sent my son off, on his own, to the nearby ice cream parlor to buy the treat of his choice. He politely waved to our neighbor as he passed by.

By Tina Bournazos

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