I stood still watching and was swept away.
The ring of deep, wild laughter, the kind that only comes when a brisk wind whips through your hair as you run and you know you are fully alive. The crack of stick on ball. The shouts to reign the team in for focused effort and inevitable goals.
A stretch of open field, rough tall grass, the fall air swirling in anticipation of winter’s breath to seal the deal, a few friends and a feeling that your whole life is contained in this moment, this perfect state of here and now…this is all a child, a being of any age, needs, really.
As I stood watching my boys, alive and obliviously free, I felt so grateful for the world we offer them. It is simple. It is real. It is full of “Yes!”, with a healthy dose of “No”, mixed in as a safety measure. It is designed to help them connect with nature, with the varied and capable intricacies of the self, with other like-valued people on the path and with the vibrant JOY of life.
It is clear that the world we live in has changed from the time I roamed free, but I pray that it has not driven us to a place where we lock up and guard our children so intently that we may keep them alive, only to have them slowly wither away on the inside.
Every parent has their own take on Free Range Parenting, but I found some fabulous links to spark consideration and convo…
From Sir Richard Branson – Breaking Free recounting a tale of being dropped in a field by his parents and told to find his way home…
To Free Range mom, Lenore Skenazy, and her belief that “…our kids are safer and smarter than our culture gives them credit for…”
Whatever your take, we all wish freedom for our children. We all want that feeling, that rush of secretly watching as they reveal their true and brilliant essence away from our watchful eye. This IS who they are, exploring, expressing, right or wrong, poised or messy, they are living out loud and discovering who they are along the way without a shred of help from us, for a time.
How do you encourage this freedom, this ‘free range’ with your children?
Would you put your child on a New York subway or in a field and let them find their way?
How can we encourage freedom, while keeping our children safe from life’s dangers? Or should we keep them ‘safe’ at all?
I hope to get the juices flowing for grand discussion;)
Here was that moment… I simply had to capture today, unbeknownst to the subjects at play.
Simple Freedom, but Freedom None the Less