How much do you let out the parental leash? How much autonomy do kids need? That’s a question loaded with all sorts of anxieties for today’s parent, especially when just about everything we consume is geared to grab our attention with clickbait headlines or crazy, edge-case scenarios. I don’t know. Organizing or dictating your life around the worst case scenario seems like a very stressful way to parent. I already consume enough wine.
Now, some questions are easy. Math homework? Short leash. Sharp knives, short leash. Practicing the trombone? Long, long leash, preferably in another room.
But what about the bus stop? Somehow, the bus stop has become the nexus of public and private parenting decisions. Do I wait with them? Do I drive them down to the bus stop? Do I pick them up?
On Friday, the girls walked home alone from the bus stop. It’s not exactly two miles. It’s not even two tenths of a mile (but there is a hill!) They were not kidnapped or harassed by strangers. They chatted quite happily and walked on the sidewalks. How do I know? Dash and I were watching from the window the entire time. You can let out the parental leash, but it doesn’t mean you have to drop it.
I can’t wait to see how they feel about walking home by themselves in January.
One benefit of the darker mornings is the kids sleeping later. So we start the morning with….just me and a book and cup of coffee on the couch. I might have still been dreaming.
Michelle was actually up before me, but went running solo so I could run with the group later. She insisted on a picture to express her joy in having her run done.
With the sunrise, came the girls and there usual positions on the couch. I think Ally has a better appreciation for her Netflix time now that she has to go to school.
When I returned from my group run, the girls were elbow deep in making banana chocolate chip muffins.
The best way to alleviate that parental anxiety that accompanies the return of school is some public day drinking. And the best thing to accompany that drinking is some homemade soft pretzels.
While I finished making the pretzels, Michelle took the girls out to get their annual dance practice outfits.
By the time they returned the pretzels were done. While they tasted great, as the girls pointed out, they did bear an unfortunate resemblance to the poop emoji.
Ally is very excited to be taking hip hop this year. She now has the purple pants to prove it.
The girls may be growing up, but Dash likes to remind us he still has some puppy left in him. If we leave the closet open even a little, he’ll get in there and pull out all his toys.
Some leftover mac ’n cheese hand pies for lunch.
Then it was time to hit up Oktoberfest, one of the top five favorite day drinking (yes, we have an official list) days of the year.
The local German club puts this on twice a year and the fall event basically resembles a huge town-wide tailgate except there is german line dancing instead of football. And much better beer.
And I finally have a stein worthy of the occasion.
I’ll be a little sad when the girls decide they are too old to get their faces painted.
I’ll definitely be sad when the girls think they are too old to dance with their parents. Or, old enough to realize that, Dad at least, has very few moves.
Clearly, oompah dancing wasn’t enough. When we returned home, Ally needed a little hip hop kitchen dancing to finish out the day.
After letting the kids run unfettered in the woods during Oktoberfest for six hours, letting them walk home a few blocks doesn’t feel that crazy. Dark German beer has a way of clarifying the mind.