When we moved to the countryside almost three years ago one of the benefits was definitely going to be letting the children have more freedom than we could have expected to give them in Wigan. (That's not to knock Wigan - we really enjoyed living there and enjoyed good neighbours and a friendly community.)
We now live on the village green, and imagined Jack and Edward playing there after school on long summer evenings. But now Jack is beginning to explore his new environment with the support of his friends and wants to be out more and for longer. The evenings have been bright and the local children are out playing. Each time I let Jack go and join them I feel a pang of parental guilt - I wonder if I'm being irresponsible. But I do believe that giving him this freedom will help him develop physically and socially. The scrapes he gets falling off his bike and tumbling of walls will heal, and the lessons learned in earning those scars will stay with him for a long time.