Free the Children

I took the kids into town today for Bob’s swim lessons with Esther, the swim whisperer.  Bob is in salamander, and loves swimming with flippers on.   His class starts when AquaFit ends, so I get to see my school teachers and my friends mothers naked weekly.  One of those “things” about small town living I find surreal… yet endearing.

We stopped in at the Fine Fettle after swimming to pick up some Panda Licorice and tea (rooibus).  A woman and her young son (5-7 years I’m guessing) passed us on the sidewalk.  The child broke into a run, as children do.  Safely, on the sidewalk.  The mother panics and shrieks: “Stop!  Stop running!  You might hurt yourself!”

Oh, honey.
Say that out loud to yourself, slower.
Say it again.

On the way home from town, we paused on the road by an Old Order neighbour’s farm.  His 7 year old son was working his field, leading a team of 5 horses.  With no adult in sight, not that he needs one, I’ve watched this kid learn to drive since he was Bob’s age.   I’m proud to know that kid.

What has happened to modern parenting?

If, like me, you would like to shake the woman sucking the joy and life skills out of her child; or perhaps if you are that parent, but would prefer not to be; I highly recommend checking out this book:
Free Range Kids by L. Skenazy.

In a similar vein, I just finished reading:
NurtureShock by P. Bronson and Ashley Merryman and it was also a very worthwhile read.

Things are really picking up speed here.  I’ve been enjoying working with the children using a Brilliant Minds Montessori Math Kit, starting seeds with them, fixing up the pig pen.  They love having jobs.  We’ll be bringing piglets home any day now, I am very excited.  I’ve been doing a spot of work for the local Penetangore Watershed Committee (go check out the display in the library!)  Tomorrow over 1 tonne of food will arrive to my house to be sorted and reconciled for our buying club.  (Thank you in advance, Lisa!)  We’ve got our summer car back on the road, are about to tackle getting a building permit for our new out building, and are in the midst of a spring clean.

Pictures of: Bob & Mags in their new Lucha masks; Bob taking a good spill off the dirt pile (finally riding his bike outside; he rode it all winter long inside our house); 2 pictures from a lovely walk in Inverhuron; happy sheep at Philosopher’s Wool; my beautiful boy.


Ps. You have to fall down to learn how to get back up.  Let’s not rob our children of this lesson.