Oh how I miss the simple times. Yes, I'm referring to the 70's as that would be my generation. Hubs mom and I sat last night and reminisced of the good ole days. The days when hubs could get on his bike and ride all over the entire neighborhood unsupervised. The freedom, independence and bravery he felt when trekking off on his own.
I spent 37 years of my life in my 'hood. Sure I moved out when I got married, but my first apartment was less than an mile away from my childhood home. My second and third? Yep, you guessed it - within 5 miles of my momma's house. When hubs and I married we moved about 15 miles east of my momma's house. I seriously cried all the time. Hated being that far away from my mom. And no, I wasn't a codependent child. I REALLY, REALLY loved my mom and wanted to share my life with her! Plus I was a young momma myself and I really needed the guidance - I had no idea what I was doing. Hubs loved me enough to move from our apartment early and get us a duplex. You guessed it. 2 miles from my momma.
My mom fell ill when I was 25. It was rough. Bubba was in 1st grade and old enough to know there were concerns. Hubs did the ultimate for me - we moved into her house to help. Because that's what families do for each other... unconditional love and sacrifice.
We stayed there 12 years together. Little guy was born in that house. Bubba and I would chat about all my childhood memories in that house. He loved growing up in my old bedroom. He is just as sentimental as his ole' momma.
Because it was my family home, I felt safe and secure there. I felt safety even for Bubba to have freedom. Most of our neighbors had been there when I was a child so they were grandparents... good people. Bubba could stay out until the street light came on, just like me. He could ride his bike throughout the 8 block neighborhood without fear. He could play hide and seek in others yards and not be afraid.
Little guy isn't getting that same experience. I LOVE our neighborhood and my neighbs are the BEST anyone could have. But he can't jump on his bike and ride 5 blocks away. We don't leave him outside unsupervised (luckily he can go out without us a little - our neighbs are out often watching their own kiddos so he does get a little sense of independence). We have build jobs happening constantly so the flow of unknown cars coming and going spikes everyone's attention. It's just not the same anymore.
It saddens me that my little guy won't ever know what that felt like - to be away from your parents and feel that sense of bravery. I think that's why I enroll him in different activities that challenge him to be brave. I want him to learn that feeling in some way.
We are getting ready to sign him up for his first summer camp away from home. It's in northern Iowa. Bubba went to this same camp 5 summers of his childhood and LOVED it. It will be the ultimate test of bravery - 6 days without mom and dad in a strange place with nobody he knows. I hope he finds the challenge as rewarding as Bubba did (and that I don't break down and BAWL when when we leave him!)