middle aged female wrote:There's a school of thought that letting them do something like this helps prepare them for college when parents will not be hovering nearby to pull them out of scrapes or to make sure they never get into any in the first place. I'd ask a few questions, though, before I let them go off wandering:
How old is Chicago aunt? Is she like 2 yrs or 10 yrs older than pal? Does Aunt live IN the city or burbs? Will she be prowling with them at least part of the time? Could they take the train instead of driving?
Is your boy, who IS 18, going away to college himself next year or will he be living at home with you?
There is something said to letting them fly a little in late in high school. When my older one was in college(18) we let her take the younger one(17) and go to Toronto with a couple "friends" who happened to be boys for 3 days. They drove to Sarnia and took the train so there wasn't a lot of worry about car accidents and in fact there were no incidents that were worth reporting back on. It's kind of gut-grinding when you're going through it but in retrospect I'm glad we trusted them to be adults for a few days. They are both stellar citizens of the world now and one of them even goes to church.
I'm onboard with allowing them to spread their wings and overall they're good and reasonably trustworthy kids...
...when the old man is just around the corner or over the hill & in the shadows. What is terribly spooky is the prospect of these kids encountering people who are genuinely bad. Walk down one wrong street or leave a beverage unattended and then what happens?
Something that pisses me off about the present is the speed with which these and similar requests roll in. Example: a few weeks ago I worked late on the phone with the other side of the country, arrived home wiped out at 8 PM and my son presented a proposal: a pal attending USC offered him frequent-flier points to catch a flight out for a long weekend, with the rub being that he would need to fly out the next afternoon. WTF. Surprise! No, absolutely not. No more ambush proposals where I am asked to countenance something that must be decided RIGHT NOW or else some supposed deal-of-lifetime opportunity passes.
Coda: lest everyone think I'm a complete jerk the deal from the USC pal was to share enough points for half of a ticket. Anyone who flies knows that a one-way ticket is about as expensive as a round-way ride, and one-way from LAX to home was $800 which is a boatload for a high school kid working part time.
Soon I discovered that this rock-thing was true...