Letting Go, Letting Play

“Can Be-Bop come out and play?”

This is the question as of late in our afternoons.  It’s been beautiful outside this week and I want my children to not sit in front of the TV for hours on end.  I really want them to explore and make friends, especially here in the neighborhood.

Before I go further with this post, perhaps I should explain that our houses in this part of our neighborhood are fairly close to the road.  We do have front yards but they’re not terribly large and our driveway is just around a large curve, a curve that people fly around in their cars.

Be-Bop is 5 and his brother adores him.  And his brother, Rock Steady himself who is 3, is tied at the hip to Be-Bop.  So whatever Be-Bop wants to do, if Rock Steady is around, Rock Steady will want to do it too.

I have absolutely no problem with Be-Bop going to the next-door neighbor’s house to play in the yard.  However, I do not really know my neighbors beyond a simple *wave* whenever any of us are coming or going.  People are pretty private around here, for whatever reason.  I am fairly certain that no one next door is outside when the kids are playing; I know they’re not in the front yard, for sure.  Whenever Be-Bop is asked to play, I just take my knitting outside and park it in the driveway in my lovely red rocking chair.  My parenting style is perhaps to keep the kids too close.  I’ve been much more of a “play-date” mom than a “let loose and play however” mom.  And Rock Steady wants to play with the older kids, too. Rock Steady…..

*Sigh.*

Rock Steady is 3.  Rock Steady is 3!  Rock Steady is 3 and in a very defiant stage, where he may or may not listen to what any of us say.  Be-Bop is not old enough to be responsible for watching his little brother.  So for me to say it’s okay for Rock Steady to run over and follow them around the neighbor’s house, out of my sight, where I am fairly sure that an adult is not taking over my watchful eye in the back yard…  that is just not acceptable to me.

The solution this afternoon will be that my kids have to stay in the front yard of either house.  I hate to interfere with play and I know the other kids love to play in the back yard, but my children’s safety does have to take priority.  I probably wouldn’t be quite so uptight about it if I knew my neighbor better.  But, I don’t.  I probably wouldn’t be quite so uptight if I didn’t see the neighbor’s kids going way too close to the road for my tastes.  But, I do.  So this mama is pulling in the reins today.

New parenting territory!  🙂


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