Free Range Parenting Is Hard: The Longest 7 Minutes Ever

Free Range Parenting Bike Ride

I heard the birds chirp. I heard a plane fly overhead. I did not hear my son singing as he rode his bike. Zacharie always sings as he rides his bike.

Usually it’s just a “Yaaaahoooo!” sort of thing that just underlines his excitement at doing laps of the cul-de-sac across from our house. This time, it was only ambient suburban noise pierced by Charlie asking “Where’s Zacharie?” as he sucked on his fudgsicle. “He’s riding his bike,” I answered, still listening for Z.

“But I don’t see him,” Charlie responded, underlining that his brother was gone. Really gone. Gone away, around the corner, to the street on the other side of those houses.

In a fit of ad-lib parenting, I had asked Zacharie if he wanted to go and do about a 1km loop around the neighbuorhood. It was 4 right turns, he’d have to cross 3 streets. “Ya!”, he quickly replied. I reminded him to walk his bike across the roads, and then he went off. By himself.

That was nearly 7 minutes ago.

As the silence surrounded me, my mind wandered. How was I going to explain this to my wife? Would I hear the squeal of tires braking to avoid hitting him? Would he miss the turn on the other block and end up lost?

When I was in a parking lot earlier in the afternoon, a minivan backed straight out of a parking stall and t-boned a sports car sitting behind her waiting for another spot. People back out of their driveways without looking all the time. I told Zacharie to watch for white lights on the cars as he passed them, but still …

Then I heard what I thought were screams. Was it kids on a trampoline? Was it just coming from an open window around the corner? Was it my imagination? I fumbled for the keys in my pocket. The experiment was over, I was going to go drive around the block and look for him, it was taking too long, my mind playing too many tricks.

And, just as I was about to give up my free range plan, he came around the corner; “Yaaaahoooooo!” I heard echoing between the houses, his smile as wide as the street. It was the longest, most irrational 7 minutes of my life.

Zacharie Leaves The Nest - DadCAMP

“Were you scared on the other side by yourself?” I asked him after my heart dropped down from my throat. “No! It was fun!!” he exclaimed. Sensing my angst, my always empathetic kid added, “I love you, Daddy.”

Achievement unlocked: the little bird just took his first flight from the nest. Now daddy just has to get used to it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

comments

Buzz

Buzz Bishop is a Dad. Broadcaster. Writer from Calgary, Alberta. He is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in 2007 and Charles in 2010.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Entertainment news, celebrity news, world news and all latest news Mom arrested for leaving 9-year-old alone at park - Entertainment news, celebrity news, world news and all latest news
  2. Pingback: Mom arrested for leaving 9-year-old alone at park | Living With Diabetes
  3. Pingback: Arrest mom for leaving girl, 9, at park? | Living With Diabetes
  4. Pingback: Mom arrested for leaving 9-year-old alone at park | Hihid News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *