It’s a question that has come up several times of late.
“Mama – what was your first big adventure out in the world on your own?”
“Ummm. Walking to my Grandma’s, I think. She lived in our street when I was little.”
“Well what will be my MY first big adventure in the world on my own?”
“You’ll have to come up with a few ideas, and I’ll tell you what I think.”
So she did.
Down the bottom of our backyard is a fence on the right, over which is a very large vacant block of land. The grass is usually high. Small Z asked if she could jump over the back fence and run home from around the other side of the block. As follows…
“OK,” I said. And watched as she shot out of the back door. A few minutes later, not really believing that she had figured out how to negotiate the six foot drop from the top of the fence, I went down with Small DB to check on her. The backyard was empty. She’d done it.
I felt a tremble. I climbed the fence and looked over. The vacant block looked h-u-g-e. Overgrown, full of enormous puddles. I could see how she had got down the other side of the fence. Our bit abuts another fence that has batons down the other side. So anyway, she was gone. I think I squeaked.
Small DB and I galloped into the front yard. Out on to the footpath. The first thing I saw (really) was a forboding dude in a long black coat, hat, beard. He’s striding past our house and won’t meet my eye. I instructed myself to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Breathe!! The snatching of small children is about as common as shark attacks… Right? Right?
I was clinging to my free-ranging child philosophies with my fingernails, when Small Z whizzed around the corner like a cartoon character – hair streaming and a gap-smile hitting her ears. Sweet relief 😉 She was so thrilled to have had a taste of her own freedom. She wanted to go again immediately. The next time she went – she fell into one of those enormous puddles and came wetly and dejectedly up the back garden – her thirst for solo adventuring doused. For the moment…