Ok, so here’s the deal.  For 2yrs, we’ve told the kids “no going outside the cul-de-sac”, and stay only on a certain section of the path.  This summer, we have given them more freedom, as long as they stay together. 

Now, I for one would like to have them in my little bubble for the rest of their lives *LOL*, however, I have to reluctantly bend and change rules with the times.  This summer, they are now allowed outside the cul-de-sac… but they must stay within our little block area. I have no problem since this means the other kids down the street will hang out with them more, so they all play in one big group.  I’m OK with that.  BUT…

There’s a new kid in town.  I had no idea he even existed until yesterday…which is my sort of bubble-life showing through since they’ve been here for a little over a month, now. *L*  Anyhow, so yesterday the older boy decides he’s going to make his own rules.  They somehow got the impression that they don’t have to listen when I say “you need to come inside now” because their friends are still out… only their friends don’t have to go to summer session 15-20mins awayby 830am. 

Anyhow, so upon the eldest decision to take matters into his own hands, he decides that since he doesn’t want to come in (I had already fixed his chain twice, he was coming in a 3rd time to get it fixed)  he neglects to mention to little brother that it was time for them to come in from playing outside.   Not only does he do that, but since the lot of them were invading this poor new kids home, they decided it was OK to do so…. complete strangers… and watch a movie. 

SO, not only were they 90mins late, they neglected to tell me where they were going, and I knew who they were with, which was good, but still…  they were inside a stranger’s home.  This is scary.  If all it takes is a nice kid to welcome them into a home, then who’s to say this nice kid doens’t have bad parents??   The things that go through one’s mind when you find out how easy it would be to lose your child.   BUT, this is all part and parcel of the growing up process for them. 

SO, once they got home, and decided to fight over who goes first in the bathroom for the nightly routines…. I grounded them.   The eldest for 2 days, the younger for 1.   And here’s the reason:  1 day for going into a stranger’s home and not telling me where they are at … 1 day for purposely not telling younger brother that it was time to come in AND for leaving him behind at this new friend’s house.. SO, i lectured them this morning about the importance of my needing to know where they are and who they are with, so at 900pm when I am looking to call them in, I know where to find them….

So today, I meet the new kid… AND his parents, who are super friendly and I think we’ll all get along  just fine. =) …   Hopefully they have learned their lesson.  I told them that with this new freedom comes more responsibility.  If they can’t handle the responsibility, they will lose that new freedom until they are more ready… (well, until I am more ready *L*)

I know it’s hard for them to come in while it’s still light… and they are certainly enjoying being able to go outside the cul-de-sac, now, and venture a little further from home… but I’m understanding this phase as a parent–you have to loosen the leash a little bit and let them do their thing.

I think back to when I was a kid… I grew up in a village of 400 where if one person sneezed, the whole village knew by the end of the day.  I can remember being 6,7,8 yrs old and riding bike with my friends all around the village… and when we moved at age 10 to a town of 2000, I still rode bike around town with friends…  Now, granted being in a suburb these days is slightly different, but the concept is the same–you just have to let loose a little as a parent, whether you like it or not.. and i’m still not liking this much, but I am working on it. …  I am terribly protective of my boys, so for me it is a tough adjustment.