Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Kids Are Alright...

I was dropping my kids off at school this morning, and lamenting the parents who don't do drop off right.

First world problems, I know.

When you take your kids to our local elementary school, one side of the street is for quick drop off. You pull up, they get out, you leave.

The other side of the street is where you park, get your kids out, and walk them in.

It's so simple. Or at least it seems simple, to me.

So, I get weirdly annoyed when I'm trying to maneuver my van around a car that just won't leave the quick drop off side, because they won't just drop off their kids and go. They have to watch their babies go inside.

I just can't figure it out. Why the need to sit and watch them? The door to the school is about 100 feet away. The place is full of students, staff, and parents. What is going to happen to them between the car and the door, that requires your careful observation?

Are they about to be carried off by Giant Eagles? And if they were, how will you prevent it from inside your car?

Then I start thinking about other wild possibilities. Like, they could be kidnapped by mercenary clowns, and carried off into the...parking lot. And no one will notice, except their parent. It's a good thing they stay to watch it.

Really, I'm just starting to think we parents worry a touch too much. I know our kids are special snowflakes, but they're every bit as special a snoflake as any other special snowflake.

So move your car! Sorry, got lost there.

Anyway, when I was five, I walked to school. I even crossed a major intersection. No one freaked out about it. Can you imagine such a thing now?

I tried to have Reagan walk to school in Kindergarten, which was across the street from our apartment complex. A mother was so bothered by it, she asked to start driving him.

It was a 5 minute walk. Tops. Honestly, it felt weird and a little judgey. But I had a baby at home, and if she wanted to give my kid a ride, more power to her, I thought.

I get the desire to protect our kids, and to be careful. I do. But I think we have to be reasonable, too. It's okay to give them a little responsibility and room to do more. Hovering over them can make them doubt their own ability. And who wants that?

Really, my ultimate goal is to send fully grown adults into the world. Ones who can find their way around, do their own laundry, and cross the street by themselves.

That said, if Giant Eagles are a problem in your neighborhood, then you know, no judgement here.

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