Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Testing Our Wings

An interesting, and unusual (for us) situation has arisen. Hubby has a late work appointment tonight, and I have a class, so suddenly there is a glaring lack of child care for the brief period of time we'll both be away from the house. Hubby and I came to a mutual agreement that, at 13 and 10 years old, the kiddos are both old enough for us to leave them at home on their own for an hour and change.

I'm having a Minor Mommy Moment. You know...those moments where you realize your kiddos are growing up and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Those Firsts. Of letting the baby birds test their wings. Of understanding in your head that everything will - truly - be fine, but you're having difficulty convincing your heart. Of suddenly realizing you're eyes are leaking a little bit and wondering how that happened.


OK. I'm fine now. But I know that later, when it comes time to actually leave them, I'll start worrying again. Even though I've got everything totally in place in case there's an emergency. They know all the important numbers, they know where to go if they have to leave the house... I will only be gone an hour. (I'll only be gone an hour. I'll only be gone an hour...)

Actually, I want to say something else on the subject. Related, but separate. I live in a neighborhood of mostly rental homes, and truthfully, I'm not 100% secure with our neighbor situation. We have a dearth of people I deem trustworthy. (We had excellent next door neighbors up until about 2 weeks ago when their house sold and they moved away and now we miss them terribly!) Don't misunderstand me, I know that "Rental Home" doesn't automatically equal "Sketchy Neighbors," but in this case I feel decidedly less than enthusiastic about our choices for emergency kiddo assistance.

In considering my "contingency plan" for tonight - my Just in Case of Emergency Back-up - I thought: Who do I know? To whom could I send the kids if a real emergency came up? If _________ were still next door I'd just send the kids there, but they're not. Option B? Think! Think! 

I finally alighted upon two sisters who live across the street - in separate houses - with whom I've had lovely and happy conversations in the past. They're both huge animal lovers (almost an automatic trust thing with me), they assist sometimes with rescue and I know they've both helped with donations to a local non-profit animal rescue. They do what they can. Girl child sold Girl Scout Cookies to both of them this past cookie season. And...I know how to get in touch with at least one of them! A ha! I'll ask her!

So, I reached out via Facebook Messenger. I relayed my plight and further said she probably wouldn't have to do anything but I wanted a place the kids could run to in case of emergency; someone I trust. She immediately responded with: "ABSOLUTELY! We'll be home and here is my cell number. Happy to help!" (I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of it.) And right away, my anxiety decreased to acceptable levels.

So, kids will be set. I'll only be about 3 minutes away and can be home in a heartbeat if needed. They have all the important information they need. They'll have had dinner. Their homework will be done already. I'm sure if I pop in a movie they won't move at all while I'm gone, or even notice I'm gone.

This parenting thing never gets easier. In my opinion it's harder when they're very young and there's so much to coordinate. But still, it never gets easier; the decisions just change. Also, hubby and I tend to be pretty conservative about what we allow our kids to do - like what video games they play, what they look at on the Internet (the Internet is a deep and scary place for kids), how much "screen time" they get on their tablets; it's not a free-for-all. Therefore, you can imagine how picky we are about who has access to our kids.

Wish us luck!


By the way...in case you were wondering, no, I did not just put my kids at risk by letting the world know when they'd be home alone. I purposely did not post this until after I got home again. I'm not that dumb. :)

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