BP's First Lone Outing

Years ago, as a parent of toddlers/babies, I never considered the possibility that one day I would have to allow my babies out into the world on their own. I lived an ignorant life blissfully unaware of the fear and dread that would eventually enter my world. When BP turned eight I began to wonder when he would start asking about going out alone but given that we live at least 2 miles from any of his friends I didn't think it would become an issue.

Then he turned nine and began telling me about his friends and how they were allowed to walk to school alone. At the time (last summer) I said it was because they lived a lot closer to school and it was safer for them because they didn't have to cross any roads. He wasn't happy but didn't ask about walking to school on his own again. Until recently.

I blogged a while ago about BP's school trip to the Isle of Wight and how nervous I was about him being away for a whole week. You can read that post here. It was a tough week but when he returned and told me how much fun he'd had I felt a lot better about letting him go. A consequence of this little bit of independence though was him asking about going out alone again. The dread took hold of my stomach because I knew this time I couldn't make any excuses. He enters Year 6 in September and then High School next year, the time had come.

On the last day of term when I went to pick up the boys from school the hubby told me I should let BP walk home on his own. I didn't want to but knew I had to give him the chance. It turned out he didn't want to. I talked to the hubby about it and we arranged a trip out to one of BP's friend's homes.

The day came and all I heard all morning was "Mum, what time is it?" I must have heard it a hundred times! When the time came he rushed out of the house, eager to get time alone. His friend's mum met him at the end of our road so he only had a little walk alone. Later in the day the friend's mum text me to see if it was okay for BP to walk home completely alone from her house. I said yes. From the moment she told me he'd left to the second he knocked on the front door I was glancing at the gate, looking for him. After 15 minutes I was worried, I thought he would've ran home and was wondering what was taking so long.

I don't think I have ever felt relief flow through my body as fast as it did when BP banged on the window and scared the life out of me. He had the biggest smile on his face, rosy cheeks from all the running and was clearly very happy about having his freedom.

Letting BP out alone again is inevitable now and although I totally hate doing it I know next time I will find it slightly easier. Not much but... baby steps.

Have you been through this milestone with your children or are you blissfully unaware of the impending doom?

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