"Let the kids walk!" my friend yelled as I discussed breakfast options with the kids. "If they don't like what's here for breakfast, let them walk to the store and pick up what they need!" Initially I ignored him thinking I'm not going to let a 10 and 11 year old walk to the store alone. I continued with our discussion on options for breakfast. That's when Mark came out of the room looked at me and said. " Donna this is how they learn, this is how they grow"

I thought for a minute and reflected. The store is about 6 blocks away, we are in a very safe family oriented neighborhood in NJ, Kennedy walked to school a few times by herself (4 blocks) , then I concluded... maybe this isn't a bad 
idea. 
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Mark went about his business and I decided to prep Kennedy (11 years old) and Madison (10 years old). We discussed safety concerns: crossing the street properly, not speaking to strangers, not accepting any car rides and paying attention to their surrounding. I 
gave them four recyclable bags to carry the groceries back home, we created a list of what they wanted to purchase and a fifteen 
minute lesson on economics ( we estimated the cost of each item and how much money they needed for the purchase).

The mission 

They girls walked out of the house with confidence, armed with a list, cash and one cellphone. I said a prayer as I looked out the 
window hoping they were safe. Mark took a nap!

Ten minutes passed and I wanted to call to see how they were but I decided that I needed to allow them the opportunity to walk and 
shop. Fifteen minutes passed and I glanced at my phone every second for the next five minutes when they finally called. They called with glee in their voice, their only question was to verify what pancake mix to purchase. 

Within ten minutes they were home and with major glow of accomplishment on their faces ! I was so proud of them both .

Providing them the opportunity to grow 

I have to admit that I am a nurturer and I almost made Kennedy miss the opportunity to grow because of my own fears. As a mother we have to be mindful that our personal
fears are not paralyzingly our children. Instead of being fueled by fear we need to arm our children with the tools they need for success. 

With growth comes failures 

Maybe I should have let them go without the crash course in economics and walk all the way to the store without enough money and have to walk back home and back to the store again. After all of that walking the pain in their legs and feet would make them prepare better next time .

Letting go

I'm proud of Kennedy for walking to the store, purchasing food and being an amazing young girl. I'm also proud of myself for understanding that I have to allow Kennedy the opportunity to grow and that mistakes/failures are valuable ways to learn and grow .