I’m stealing a phrase from my Aunt who was visiting us last weekend. While we were walking among the boats in the marina with my kids and one of their friends, going to meet my husband to take us on a boat ride, my aunt was nervous that I was allowing 3 children to walk ahead of me without wearing life preservers. They were walking normally, not being crazy, because they’ve been educated about what happens when you fall off a boat dock…incidentally 2 of the kids are excellent swimmers and the other is, well, 3 and still learning. She couldn’t believe I wasn’t nervous or making them hold my hand. Then she said, “well you know, I have to hand it to you, I’m impressed that you’re so calm with your kids, because I never was. And if you’re a calm parent, then you’ll have calm children. Calm breeds calm.” I love that phrase. There’s a truth to it.

In the summer we live in a place where we don’t lock our doors and let our kids run free…much like my childhood. We let them ride bikes with their friends to unknown places, and we don’t furnish them with cellphones. We let them jump off rocks into cool lake water and play games until dark. We let them taste independence and we make sure they know what a big deal that is. Our children are growing up right before our eyes, it’s amazing to watch them get taller and smarter in a matter of weeks. I for one want them to be able to walk through life being aware but not afraid. As we start a new school year in a few days, we will go back to life in the city where we will gently remind them that day to day life isn’t always so carefree and they can’t just run around without us knowing where they are. We’ll let them run ahead of us on the sidewalk and go to the deli on the corner for milk, because, yes, I do believe calm breeds calm.

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