And one gigantic, enormous, monstrous step for dad.
My oldest daughter, Sarah, was invited to spend the night with a friend of hers for her friend’s birthday party on Saturday night. Part of the festivities were going to involve shopping and a girls day out with her friend. I was cool with that. But I was shocked and awed when her friend’s mom came to pick Sarah up and told us that she was going to be dropping Sarah and her friend off at the mall. By themselves.
This is the first time ever that I was faced with the prospect of one of my children alone in the great big world all by herself. Well, not really by herself, but more, I guess, without me. Of course her friend did have a cell phone (and no I am not getting Sarah a cell phone yet) and both Sandi’s and my phone were on. And they were only going to be there for three hours. And her friend had done this before, so all in all, it was a pretty safe experience. But it was more than a little nerve racking.
The nice part about the experience was that Sarah’s friend’s mom went over a good set of pretty basic rules that reiterated the rules that Sandi and I have laid for out kids as it relates to talking to strangers, scams brought on by adults and how to conduct yourself in places like stores when it comes to money, what you say, how you say it and what you do with things that you have already purchased. So it was encouraging to know that my kid was receiving the same message from another parental source.
It was also encourage when, at about 3:00 on Saturday, my daughter called me to tell me she was going to be leaving the mall because her friend’s mom had come to pick them. She also told me she was ok, that she had a great time and the her friend was keeping her alive “for the most part”.
So I would say it was not a bad day for a few first time experiences. I am proud of the way my daughter handled it. And I am proud of the way my wife handled it. I am also proud of the way I handled it, and though I think I am still going to be a little slow to go along with something like this any time soon, I can say that I am confident that if either of my two oldest daughters were put into a position in which they were alone in a large open square, they would be more than able to handle the situation and be totally safe doing so.