We are sliding headlong into a giant pool of sweet independence. I hope RR is enjoying this as much as I am. I think I can see the place where the constant effort to keep another person alive and unharmed ends and the cautious optimism that they will reliably do this for themselves begins. I’m pretty sure the pot at the end of this particular rainbow is Staying Home Alone.

We’re solidly in the realm of drop-off birthday parties. There are still some parents that hang around but, for the most part, the packs of children maraud at will interrupted only by generous smearings of cake and ice cream. She can make herself a sandwich and get a glass of water so even though it’s pretty much prison, she’d survive. She goes to her bedroom and plays or reads for more than an hour at a time. I suspect she wouldn’t even notice if I weren’t in the house. Yesterday I was outside for an extended period of time, first talking with the fence repair guy and then clearing out all the possum pieces some renegade vultures had left lying around.* RR was utterly unconcerned.

If she had a phone, we could practice calling 911 and that will be the clincher for me. She turns eight (I KNOW) in June and I think that’s old enough for her to stay home alone for short periods of time. I get giddy thinking of the things I can do. I can go to the grocery store unaccompanied! I can go to the grocery store without having to listen to RR’s sass about how she doesn’t want to go! I can go to the gym! I can take the dogs for a walk with my headphones! I can have a cup of coffee and write in a coffee shop like an adult! It’s a whole new world.

This is exciting territory, folks.




*I’d like to point out that we live IN A TOWN and not in some unchecked wilderness. IN A TOWN where I should not be besieged by vultures.

8 Responses

  1. Hands free parenting is the best, isn’t it?

  2. I totally leave my 8-year-old alone for, like, an hour at a time. (I do the in-case-of-emergency drill every time. Stay inside with the door locked, if there’s an emergency call 911, if the house catches fire leave IMMEDIATELY and find a neighbor, bye, I’m going to the grocery.) Mostly the kid reads while I’m gone. It IS great!

    • I can’t wait. I can go to the gym, the grocery, around the block… Maybe I’ll just get in the car, drive up one house, and read for awhile. So exciting.

  3. Um, we have a LOT of vultures. And ants. They are sort of our mascots.

    Y’all need a land line with an unlisted number and you are home free!

  4. I love this preview into my not-so-distant future! I mean, um, reading about what’s going on in your life. I love reading about what’s going on in your life. Yeah, that’s totally what I meant.

    The phone conundrum gives me pause, though; we are also landline free.

    • We’re headed to goodwill to find a phone – hopefully one that we don’t need to keep on a base to charge, because I’ve met my daughter and I know myself and, no. Debra and I think we might have a landline that came with the internet. Now we just need to figure out what the number is.

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