It's the first day of the school holidays for us today. I have had my head down working whilst No1 son and his girlfriend look after the little ones but things are stirring. They have been for a few days and I'm not really sure how I feel about the situation or what the right course of action is.
You see Sonny (9) and ModelGirl (8) have been asking to go out together on their bikes for a ride around the village...... without me (or their father).
I know that ModelGirl is sensible. Sonny not so but that's primarily because he has an inability to think about anything other than Pokemon for more than five minutes straight.
We live in a quiet village that isn't a through road to anywhere, but the thought of them being out on their own fills me with dread.
When I was their age I got two busses to school and two busses home again on my own, had my own house key, walked the dog and quite often cooked for myself if my parents were late home. I have an older sister who was 'supposed' to take care of me but I think she missed that direction and I was pretty much left to my own devices.
My summer's were spent roaming fields, playing with horses, feeding stale bread to the ducks and stream jumping. It all sounds very idyllic now and it would have been if I'd had someone to share it with.
My children on the other hand don't get to venture further than the garden gate without full adult supervision.
I tested my own boundries yesterday by allowing them to walk the dog to the conker tree and back but then it dawned on me that they didn't have a watch and I hadn't specified how long they were allowed to be out.
Are we suffocating our children? Should we give them more freedom? What is the right age to let them out alone?