Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Strangers Without

Youth & Government trip
Originally uploaded from iphone
One of the biggest adjustments we're making as parents is coming to grips with the fact that most of the time we don't know what the kids are doing or who they're with.
Here's my daughter with two guys I've never seen. The photo was taken in Baton Rouge at a Youth & Government event. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I don't have to write them all here.
When the kids are little, you are responsible for their whereabouts and activites 24 hours a day. When they are driving and asserting independence, you're lucky if you get ten hours in any 24-hour span.
For this child, even that's a reach.
We still have friends with younger children who find it difficult to grasp the idea that they will one day send their kids out into the world and just let them be on their own.
It's not a foreign concept. When I was little, it was not uncommon to hop on the bicycle first thing in the morning and stay gone until suppertime. I'm sure my mother was keeping tabs on me somehow, but she couldn't know exactly where I was at all times.
Now, with cell phones, we can at least keep in touch.
There is a certain freedom in trusting that your teens will be reasonably safe out there on the streets.
Now, we can just go to dinner or a movie without a need to give somebody a ride.

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