Walking to the Bus Stop

Today was the big day. Chloe walked to and from the bus stop by herself for the first time.

A couple of minutes after she left, I went outside to the sidewalk to keep an eye on her. She must have sensed my presence, even though she was more than a block away, because she turned around and waved. She turned around again less than 30 seconds later to shoo me away.
So I hid behind our holly tree and spied on her. And made sure she made it to the stop safe and sound. You can bet I’ll be spying at least for the rest of the week. The bus stop is on our street, three short blocks away – it can’t be more than 1/4 mile from the house, if that much. So far, however, she’s the only kid walking to the stop by herself. And there are lots of kids there. Even the 4th graders are still accompanied by a parent.
A recent article in the NY Times discussed parents’ reluctance to let their children walk to school or to the bus stop by themselves. And I was talking to a friend today about this very issue. In my mind, there’s something magical about a kid gaining independence, whether it be in learning how to ride a bike or walking to the bus stop alone. And if you don’t allow children to grow in that way, you end up raising a kid who is stifled, sheltered, inexperienced and scared – not to mention at risk for rebellion later on.
Chloe was proud as can be that she’s able to walk herself to the bus. And we’re proud of her.

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