Lizzie is now biking home from the library alone. The library is a mile from our house, down a meandering path, through a lovely greenbelt and several parks where families spend their days. It takes eight to ten minutes to bike there. But still, this is a big deal because LIZZIE is BIKING. Two years ago Lizzie didn't even know how to bike and now she's all I can do it. I like to go at my own pace, anyway.
Biking alone is also significant because I am a mama duck who freaks out when my kids wander too far away from me. I also lose it when I can't see a kid because he (or she) is hidden behind the other parent (this happens A LOT). But, she's twelve now. Kids her age - heck, her friends her age - have been hopping buses and hitting Pearl Street on their own for awhile.
It is tough letting go. To assuage my inner neurotic, Lizzie must call before she leaves for home and then she has fifteen minutes from that phone call to get home. She has her cell phone with her at all times, too. She usually makes it home in about twelve nail-biting, anxiety-ridden minutes. She goes it alone. She goes her own pace. And I'm okay with that.