We like to protect our children as much as possible and shield them from harm but sometimes the best way to do that is to let go... just a little. Most of you that have read my blog in the past remember the horrific incident when Walker went missing from school when he was in kindergarten. That particular story can be read here. Though this is technically his second time walking home, it is the first time with permission.
Two years have passed since that time and Walker has grown not only physically but emotionally and it was decided that he be given a little more independence. Some parents would cringe at the thought of their eight year old walking home from school by themselves. Just to put it into perspective he doesn't have to cross the road and walks down about a quarter of a mile to the end of our street from the school. I am not a big believer of shielding our children from absolutely everything. They need to learn but best to learn important lessons in life from their own parents or guardians.
It was decided around Christmas that once Walker turned eight he would be given the opportunity to prove his responsibility and independence. His eight birthday has come and gone so the other day we arranged for him to be able to walk home. I told him it may be raining and he would still have to walk home because things aren't always sunny and perfect. He said with a smile it was okay he would still like to walk home. Prior to him leaving in the morning we had the discussion that he was not to stop and talk to his friends and that he needed to come straight home.
Two -thirty came and I headed out the door to meet him on the corner across from the crossing guard. Like clock-work he came strolling down the sidewalk in the pouring rain with his big red umbrella. He saw me and he smiled from ear to ear. You could tell by his smile and enthusiasm how excited and proud he was of his accomplishments.
He has proven to us he can be trusted and acts in a responsible manner. This is just a baby step to bigger things to come for him as he grows into a young man. I get excited and sad at the same time of the changes that will occur but overall I love every stage of each of my children's lives.
Though they have a lot to learn in the years to come they have taught me much as well. They have taught us to pick our battles as not every battle can be won. Choose wisely as they have a memory that is long. They will make mistakes along the way as we often do but reacting accordingly is imperative to future success and happiness.