Saturday, June 21, 2008

Free Range Kids 3

We were at the Lair of the Golden Bear last week. Iris joined a pack of kids that liked to hang out at the creek and look for critters. (The bug catching kit she received for her last birthday saw heavy action all week.)

I was sitting midway between our cabin and the creek, reading a delicious collection of Alice Munro short stories, when another mother came by. She was shouting the name of her boy, roughly the same age as Iris. They belonged to the same pack of kids down at the creek. She asked if I was Iris' mother.

I replied in the affirmative.

She asked if I knew where her son was.

I looked down at the creek and wave my hand in the general direction. "They were down there a while ago, but I don't see them now."

"You don't know where your daughter is and you are fine with that?"

I stared back uncomprehendingly. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that until she asked in that tone of voice.

She walked off, continuing to shout her son's name.

I thought the point of Lair was to let kids run wild in the woods and around the creek. Besides, Iris was with a pack of 5 "Little Oskis" (6-7 year olds). The creek was running very low due to the drought; the risk of drowning was minimal. Mosquitoes were the biggest problem we encountered at the creek.

Read the other Free Range Kids entries.

When one of the "Little Oskis" counselors asked the kids to count off, Iris played a smart @ss.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 3 times 3. The girl next to her fired off 5 plus 5 without skipping a beat. Number 11 looked petrified. I told her it was OK to say 11 because it was a prime. The counselor gave a big sigh and said, "Darn UC Berkeley camp kids". He gave them assigned numbers, starting at the other end of the line.

1 comment:

  1. Clever little munchkins aren't they :-) Welcome home, whistle a happy tune as you do the laundry...
    And a million thanks for helping me fix the text! Big hug, see you soon I hope.


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