Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Letting Go

So I have been struggling with how much freedom to give my now 8 year-old K. She is actually very responsible and has good common sense. I have let her ride her bike around the block alone a bunch of times now, and she loves it. But really, that is all I have felt comfortable letting her do. And that is so ridiculous, really. When I was 8, my parents sent me off in the neighborhood and I would come back when the street lights came on.

So, in trying to figure out what to do, I read a great book. It is called Free-Range Kids. If you are a friend IRL, you are likely to receive this from me in the next few days. The author also has a cool blog. It basically says that the world is really no more scary than we were kids (in some ways LESS) and it is just the media and general paranoia that has overtaken our society.

She debunks this general feeling we all have that strangers will grab our children off the street at any moment. She has actual facts and statistics that are often ignored in media reports. Instead she talks about the good that will come if we let our kids explore, try, god-forbid PLAY outside. It builds confidence, it teaches street-smarts, combats obesity, and generally HELPS our children.

I was recently yelled at by a woman in a car passing my house for letting my children ride their bikes right in front of my house while I was outside watching them. I do not live on a city street. I live on a suburban street that has light traffic. My kids know how to ride their bikes and stay away from parked cars and watch for moving cars. I thought that lady was nuts. Now I am sure.

I am going to let K ride around the block. I may even let her ride to the library (ok, its 1 block away)..and maybe to her friend D's house (although she will have to cross a busy street). This book helps alleviate some fears, and makes me WANT to give my kids some more leeway.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last week, K received her First Communion. This is a big deal for more than just her. Our family joined the Lutheran Church about a year ago. I grew up in a VERY strong Catholic family. And despite having LOTS of problems with Church/Pope policy, I had been very happy with the Catholic Church DH and I had been attending and that all 3 kids were baptized at.

But when K turned 4, I wanted her to begin Sunday school. No luck at my church - was told it was all full. So, the next year, I started earlier - still no luck. I was crazed and angry. What do they mean there was no room in Sunday school for my children?? We put the girls in Sunday School at the local Lutheran Church that friends attended - no questions asked.

At my father's urging, I wrote the Pastor of the Catholic Church, and the Bishop to ask for help getting my children into Sunday School. no response. REALLY? From a church that is watching people leave in droves, here is a family of 5 looking for some religious education from 3 children??!! Nada.

So, we went through the "new disciple" orientation at the Lutheran church. And I found I really liked it. And I LOVED how friendly and welcoming they were (bible, literature, and coffee mug delivered to our house after the first week we attended church, followed up by a phone call from the Pastor welcoming us!). They educated my kids (for free) without us even being members. All in all, fantastic. Home.

So last week, K got her First Communion. She was very excited, although her favorite part was that she would now get an "official" name badge, like Mom and Dad.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still Here

I have not fallen off the planet. (I just wish I did!) I had two conferences back to back with a total of nearly 10k of my members (I work for an association) in town over the last 2 weeks. VERY exhausting.

I have actually been working on a REALLY cool craft project that I hope to share with you all very soon. Let's just say - its funky and CHEAP! Hope to share soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I felt so Amish

After being inspired by Jane's blog, I decided to have some fun with the girls (while Big Man was napping). We took a simple container of heavy cream and had a blast. First we made whipped cream. Using the Kitchen Aid (and a bit of sugar and vanilla) the girls LOVED their homemade whipped cream. They both said it tasted like melted vanilla ice cream. Then we took the same container of heavy cream, put it in a rubbermaid container, added a bit of salt and shook. After not to long we had Butter! They thought it was soooo cool. The whole thing took about 10 minutes, and they loved it. Gotta love fun, mixed with science, and snacks!