The rules of play were simple. Stay on my street. Come home in time for dinner. Don’t go in anyone’s house without Mom’s permission. It was easy. I played and had a wonderful time. I have the scars on my knees to prove it.
Simone and Nadia can’t do that. They don’t play in the yard or knock on a neighbor’s door and ask if the children inside can come out to play. It’s a different time.
The other night while driving home, I found myself all stressed out about what to do with the girls on the weekend. We have a series of activities we participate in as a family. Simone, though, has started asking to go to a friend’s home or to have someone come over to our house. I feel more comfortable with someone coming to our house. Besides, whether it’s two girls or four girls or six girls, it’s all the same giggle fest to me. I understand the girls want to play with folks other than Mommy and Daddy, so I sent notes inviting two little girls to play at our house. We haven’t heard anything yet.
As I drove home, some of those anxious childhood feelings surfaced. Will the parents call? Will the parents feel comfortable coming to our home? Will the children have fun? I cannot turn back the clock to my childhood, a time when children played until dinnertime. I know I shouldn’t worry about these things. They always work out. All I can do is look over my shoulder at a time when parents didn’t have to do this, when we didn’t have to schedule play dates.