The other week, I received an email inviting Little Miss to a birthday party. It was for one of her favorite friends in school, and we’ve had a couple playdates back and forth, so I know Charlie’s mom (not his real name), too. Little Miss loves birthday parties, and she’s to the point now where she gets dropped off instead of parents staying for the fun and games.
Then there was this invitation. Little Miss was invited to go downtown (Chicago) on the train to the National Museum of Mexican Art for a craft before having lunch and returning home.
Little Miss is six!
I almost dismissed it out of hand at that point. I could see so many ways for a group of children to go bad on the train or downtown. For some reason, I kept reading. The party was going to be only Little Miss, Charlie, and one other friend with both parents in tow.
I thought about it. And then I found out that the other child couldn’t go so that it would be just Little Miss and her well-behaved friend. And the responsible parents. I didn’t want to be the one to tell the boy he didn’t get to have a birthday party because there would be no guests. And the ratio was pretty good. She’d been downtown before. And given that she’s already broken her arm at her own birthday party, aren’t we due for some good karma?
I finally decided to let her go, knowing the parents and itinerary of the outing.
Even after I made the decision, I still wrestled with it. She’s six. While she stays with adults and follows directions, if anything going wrong, I’m a long way from her to help. While the likelihood is that everything would be fine, what if it isn’t?
You can imagine my relief when I found out that the party would instead be here in town with the kids going out to lunch and then a movie. Great, now she’s having her first date instead.
So what would you have done? Would you have let your child go downtown in this situation?
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