My two elementary aged sons wanted to walk home from school.
I knew they were ready; my husband and I agreed they could do it. They were excited to test their street skills and prove their responsibility. And I almost ruined it, because it was hot.
An hour before they got out of school I started thinking about rescuing my boys from the heat and pick them up in the mini van. It was hot, but not sweltering or life threatening. Just a plain old hot day. But my “babies” might be uncomfortable or thirsty, so surely they would prefer their Mommy to pick them up and save them from the walk home. I mean, it’s my job to protect them, right?
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
“Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22:6 MSG
Yes, we need to protect our kids, but what about preparing them? Training them for independence? Boys are wild at heart and need freedom and adventure to thrive as men. As moms, we have the unique ability to know our children and figure out when and where it’s appropriate to let our sons experience and earn their independence. Of course I worry, there are real dangers in the world. But I’m more concerned about raising boys who are confident and independent.
I almost let my fear win. But I didn’t rescue my boys, I stayed home praying for them, keeping a close eye on the clock. They burst through the front door excited, smiling and dripping sweat down their faces. I noticed they were wearing each other’s backpacks so I asked why. My oldest son said, “Jayden’s backpack was heavier than mine and since I’m bigger and stronger, we switched.” They also said they stopped at our friend’s house on the way, (a safe house where they know they can always go for help) to fill up their water bottles.
We told them to always stick together and look after each other. (Buddy System) They solved their problems on their own without their Mommy telling them what to do. Amazing. All these years of teaching and instructing is starting to pay off. My boys gained confidence and important life skills. They were proud of themselves for making it home safe. I almost ruined it, but I didn’t. I’m proud of all three of us.